Kappa Delta Sorority Hosts Mental Health Talk

Jack Birle Staff Writer

On Tuesday April 9th, the University’s Kappa Delta chapter hosted a discussion  about mental health among students and how to deal with the issues that come with mental health. 

The event titled “Let’s Talk About It” had four main speakers, discussing how they struggled through mental health issues, while also giving tips on how to persevere through these issues. 

The coordinator of the event was sophomore Sally McNamara. When asked the motivation behind the event, she said, “I was upset by the lack of dialogue, specifically on Villanova’s campus surrounding mental health. It’s all kind of swept under the rug.”

The guest speaker was Kristen Harootunian, who is from an organization called Minding your Mind. As Harootunian puts it, “[Minding your Mind’s] primary purpose is to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and mental illness.”

McNamara said she chose Harootunian to speak “since the event was stemming from KD and one of our platforms is women’s confidence, I thought it was important to have a strong woman we could relate to.”

Harootunian discussed how several traumatic events in her childhood caused her to become depressed and have anxiety. She talked about how she was able to overcome self harm and other negative actions by replacing the negative actions with positive actions. 

McNamara, who helped coordinate the event, shared statistics about mental health from a survey conducted from members of the University’s Kappa Delta chapter. According to McNamara, 28.7% of the 96 members reported having a diagnosed mental health issue and 59.6% had reported seeing a therapist at some point in their life. The most prevalent issues of those who were surveyed were anxiety and depression.

Sophomore Megan O’Brien shared her experience about how anxiety and depression had nearly overtaken her life after having several devastating losses in a short period of time, and how she was able to overcome a recent reoccurrence of the same mental health issues.

O’Brien called for a change of how the public perceives mental health issues. 

“[The perception in society] is shifting in a good direction,” O’Brien said, “There is still a negative stigma around everything, and people are still afraid to talk about certain topics.”

According to the survey conducted within Kappa Delta, the University’s attitude toward mental health is mixes. O’Brien said “some people think Villanova had a more progressive view [on mental health issues] and other think it is more difficult [for individuals with mental health issues].”

McNamara discussed how a concussion led to depression and anxiety, and how she had a denial about the issues she had, until she realized it was true. She also discussed the problem with the “obsession with being happy all the time” mentality that contributes to mental health issues. 

McNamara discusses how mental health issues should not be ignored and must be treated like any other human issue. She said “Being mentally ill…does not make you less of a person,” she said. “One of the most difficult things is asking for help [with mental health issues].” 

Senior Katherine Josiah talked about her battle with anxiety and how she was able to help fix her self-image issues. She talked about how she worked hard on self confidence and positive ways to coupe with issues.

Josiah also discussed how self confidence can play a major role in mental health. “I try to never insult or criticize myself because the way you talk to yourself is really important,” Josiah said.

Josiah also talked about the stigma surrounding seeing a therapist. She stressed that “no problem is too big or small to seek professional help for.” 

When asked about what her goal for the event was McNamara said, “The main thing I wanted to get out of this event was to get people talking. Like I said at the event, ‘Here I am standing up here talking about my mental illness. Why am I an anomaly?’ I shouldn’t be an anomaly, I should just be a girl talking about her life.”

McNamara hopes to organize more events surrounding mental health in the future.