On Monday, April 8, Carrboro High School hosted a Mental Health Fair in the back of the library. The purpose of this fair was to bring awareness to mental illnesses, ways to get involved in the community and the stigma surrounding mental illnesses. Both psychology and health classes visited the fair, hoping to learn more about mental health.
The fair hosted several individuals and organizations to speak about careers in mental health, how to help others, how to get resources and how to fight the stigma against mental health.
Dr. Allen O’Barr, the director of Counseling and Psychology services at UNC, along with two resident psychiatrists, informed the students about the field of psychiatry.
Four different organizations visited the school, hoping to provide resources for students to help themselves or people around them.
HopeLine is a Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention organization that runs a hotline for people who want to talk about their issues.
Mental Health First Aid is a course that helps you recognize and respond to situations of mental health crises.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is an advocacy group that educates, supports and advocates for people living with mental illness and the people surrounding them.
The Faith Connections on Mental Illness is an organization that works with faith communities to advocate and become more comfortable with the fact that there are people with mental illnesses in their community.
Lauren Hobgood, a member of Active Minds, a nonprofit organization at UNC that works to raise mental health awareness among college students, organized the event. Hobgood doesn’t remember seeing anything like the Mental Health Fair when she was in high school. Having seen more resources available in college, she wanted an accessible way for high schoolers to view all of the potential resources that they can use or recommend to a friend.
A driving factor that many of the organizations pushed was being accepting and aware of mental illnesses. If you or anyone in your life needs mental health help, feel free to go to any of these organizations to get accessible services.