SALUD Sessions 5 and 6: Mental Health, Stigma, Resilience

Before I dive into SALUD’s mental health sessions, I want to share some thoughts. For the most part, mental illness – especially as it relates to depression/anxiety/trauma – is hard to see.It’s impossible to know the pain and suffering someone is experiencing on the inside.There are infinite reasons why someone might not seek the help they need. The symptoms alone can be devastating but starting the long and arduous – but necessary – journey towards a better future can be just as overwhelming. It’s understandable that people are afraid of taking that step. However, asking for help is the antithesis of weakness. Asking for help shows immense courage. If you are struggling and need help, here are some resources:

Ntl Suicide Prevention Lifeline 18002738255
SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
Ntl Child Abuse Hotline 18004224453
Ntl Sexual Assault Hotline 8006564673
Ntl Domestic Abuse Hotline 8007997233…/serv…/subcategory.aspx…

If you are in urgent crisis, you can go to Carolina Outreach’s Behavioral Health Urgent Care
Alliance Behavioral Health…/cri…/crisis-facilities/…/mobile-crisis-services/
or call 9-1-1


Today was SALUD’s second session regarding mental health! Two weeks ago, we started off with handling “the most complex organ in the human body” (shoutout to Dr. White’s classic quote) in a brain anatomy session led by Camilo Toro Restrepo. Gaby Nagy introduced them to mental health and stigma and Dr. Feliu talked about the neurobiology of pain.They explored depression, anxiety, stress, PTSD and substance use disorders.Thanks Laura Stilwell for helping put together that case vignette! Today at El Futuro, they further explored self-care, resiliency, coping skills, and alternative methods of therapy. They worked to identify how the different environments they live in succeed or fail at addressing mental health needs.Their ideas for fostering community and resiliency on a personal and communal level were thoughtful and comprehensive.They learned about valuable community resources and the amazing work El Futuro does to provide accessible, affordable, and culturally-sensitive care to the Latinx community in Durham and across NC. They even got to provide input on their upcoming mural!

These two sessions were incredibly meaningful to me. I shared my own mental health story with the group.I never shy away from discussing mental health, but sharing on a more personal level can be scary, difficult, and exhausting.That’s why I was absolutely humbled and inspired by the vulnerability and strength our students showed. Every week, I feel so honored to work with them.

Alex Villeda

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