Friends 4 Friends: a new community, a new movement, and one of the new RSO’s on UD’s campus. It is an empowering community of students who are actively changing the way mental health is viewed on our campus and raising funds to better our campus’ resources along the way. This is the way we are ditching stigmas centered around mental health and standing up to be advocates for ourselves and for each other.
In September of 2016, we lost a fellow blue hen, a passionate friend, and someone loved by so many. Connor Mullen, who I did not personally know, took his own life tragically, and his presence is missed every day. I remember exactly where I was on the day when we all mourned his loss together as a college campus. I remember feeling immense sorrow, to the point of tears, despite not even knowing him. I have always felt a deep connection to this cause after my mom’s long battle with depression, which eventually led to her suicide when I was just seven years old, so I felt the need to be there for the people that I know and loved that were so heartbroken by his loss. I remember writing a blog about it on this day, featured on my personal blog, so I’m just going to give a quick excerpt from that to show how emotional it was for many. I wrote:
“This weekend I received some beyond tragic news. The type of news that makes your heart crack into little pieces. The type of news that makes your lungs feel like they are shrinking. The type of news that makes your stomach drop to the floor. The type of news that makes you want to hug the people next to you, even if you don’t know them, because life is sacred and fragile, and our time here on this beautiful earth is so precious. This weekend, I found out that a fellow student at my university took his own life, suddenly, tragically, and without much explanation. I am so heartbroken.”
I think if we all just realized that no matter who you are, no matter where you come from, no matter what demons crowd your brain, there is help out there. I am so touched to know that Connor’s lively spirit and beautiful soul can live on through his friends and family, who are doing amazing things to ensure that no one feels alone. F4F is going to be that breath of fresh air for so many people, and I am so thrilled to be a part of their marketing team as the Blog Coordinator. I know that it can be incredibly difficult to take a step back sometimes and have perspective. We are so enveloped in this bubble of balancing school and social lives, applications and relationships, that we forget how important it is to take care of our bodies, our brains, and to empower each other. Not only is Friends 4 Friends a blossoming community, but we have goals and we will be consistent in each effort to change the way we view mental health. We will be having conversations, we will be fundraising (and the money will go directly back into research, bettering UD’s counseling center’s resources, and scholarship funds). It is not just about encouraging students to seek help when they need it, but being there for them along the way and showing them how it is possible on our own campus.
So what can you do? You can follow our social media pages, you can attend the various fundraisers, you can get involved, and you can get hype for our walk on campus: April 15th 2018. It is going to be nothing short of incredible. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org