Talk Text Act discussion: Mental health

Text Talk Act is an Internet initiative by Creating Community Solutions which was recently picked up by the Bellevue College counseling center to improve mental health awareness. Groups of three to four participants choose to receive questions through texting a given number. A question is then received which the group discusses, they later reply to the message, and receive another. On Oct. 6, Bellevue College hosted a Text, Talk, Act discussion. The event was led by Belle Nishioka and Ron Taplin, current counselors working at the college.

The conversation started off with brief introductions of everyone. Nishioka began the presentation by reading a few statistics, such as how “50 percent of college students have experienced overwhelming stress within the past year.”

The group then moved on to the texting portion. The first question that buzzed on everyone’s phone, Owla Mohamed, a student who attended the meeting, read it aloud: “Take 10 minutes to discuss as a group what do you do to take care of your social, mental, spiritual, or physical health.” An unnamed student replied by saying “I take care of my social health through a strong circle of friends I can always rely on. Mentally I de-stress everyday by reflecting on my actions […] physical health is something I need to work on though.” Mohamed said he attended the event “to learn more about mental illnesses and how to help people with mental illnesses. I don’t think the topic is raised enough in day to day conversation because people are afraid to talk about it […] and I wanted to learn how it can affect people’s lives.”

A question that brought a lot of attention was “What did your friends or other people do, or not do, that made a difference?” An unnamed student said “In our previous school district they do an amazing job at informing students about mental disorders in health class. They told us what neurologically happens in the brains of these people, and they taught us how to keep a balance in life and where to seek help when we needed it.”

The conversation continued along and later Mohamed commented by saying “At the meeting we had good group discussions answering questions that were texted to us. We learned important things like mental illnesses can range from simple anxiety to thoughts of suicide. […] I’m glad that I went and was able to share my thoughts as well as hear other students’ opinions.”

The Bellevue College counseling center would like to reiterate the confidential services that are offered for students and faculty. There is educational, career, and short term personal counseling. These services are offered free of charge for members of the Bellevue College community. To schedule an appointment with a counselor, call the front desk at 425-564-2212 or visit the Advising/Counseling front desk on the second floor of the B-Building.