As college students, we have so many commitments to juggle. Classes, jobs, and relationships only scratch the surface of all the “stuff” we face everyday. It can be overwhelming. That is why it is important to make mental health and self-care a priority.
To promote mental health awareness and education, The Argonautica is introducing a new biweekly column called “Speaks2Inspire,” spotlighting UWF’s very own mental health awareness advocate, Abraham Sculley. This column will be a segment of The Argonautica’s Mental Health Mondays.
You may recognize Abraham. He was recently named 2018’s Mr. UWF, and he is actively involved in organizations such as UWF Men, Trio, UWF Collegiate 100 and International Honor Society in Psychology–but he is perhaps best known for his devotion to changing the way we think about mental health.
So many of us struggle with feelings that we’re not sure how to deal with, and Abraham knows firsthand what that’s like. He became aware of the importance of mental health during his freshman year when he was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder.
“When I was struggling with depression, I felt like I was alone,” Sculley said. “I didn’t feel like anyone had ever felt what I was feeling, and I didn’t think that anyone would understand even if I tried to explain what I was dealing with.”
As he began to learn more about mental illnesses, he came to the realization that “mental health is wealth,” and he found that he wanted to help others who were suffering. In December 2016, to dispel the stigma “that a person is ‘crazy’ if they struggle with mental health,” he created Speaks2Inspire, a movement that promotes mental health awareness and offers an environment where people can openly share their experiences.
He also turned his focus to the needs of the black community, serving as a mentor for its youth. He explains why he believes that mental health discussions are uncommon in the community and how avoiding them can lead to more problems:
“I think we are not talking about the reality of our people dealing with mental illnesses,” Sculley said. “We are afraid of therapists. We try to deal with mental health struggles by ourselves, and this leads us to self-medicate.”
Because he understands what it is like to struggle with mental health and works tirelessly to help others who are dealing with these issues, we are proud to partner with Abraham in opening the dialogue and creating a safe place to learn more about mental wellness. The “Speaks2Inspire” column will dig into the nuances of what it is like to live with mental health issues, the symptoms you should pay attention to, and the hard discussions like how to ask for help or help someone that you know.
Our readers will also have the opportunity to have Abraham answer their questions about mental health on any one of our social media platforms. Just submit your inquiries to The Argonautica via any of the following sites:
You may also direct message if you wish to remain anonymous, or contact us at www.theargonautica.com.
Look for “Speaks2Inspire,” in our next issue, and remember, Argos, it’s okay to not be okay! For information about mental health resources, contact UWF’s Counseling and Psychological Services: (850) 474-2420.