When I signed up for the listening tent, I had no idea what to expect. However, when I showed up to Ho Plaza, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the event. To start, Shannon and I helped set up a booth promoting mental health awareness. The booth included helpful brochures and pamphlets; social workers available to listen and talk to concerned students; and fun de-stressing activities. After setting up, our main job was to invite people passing by to make stress balls from balloons and rice. It was great being able to interact with many students while having some insightful discussions about mental health.
The five-hour booth was put on by the Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service (SPCS), whose mission is to promote constructive responses to crisis and trauma and prevent violence through direct support and community education. They provide a few major programs for those seeking assistance: a Crisis Line and Chat for confidential counseling; an education program for raising awareness; and after-trauma services that provide short-term free counseling and support groups for those in need. From my time working with the members of SPCS, I could sense that they were all very enthusiastic about their work and very knowledgeable about available resources. It was great to see how activities as small as making stress balls brightened up people’s day and I hope that the Listening Tent comes back to campus sometime soon!