DWU students hosting ‘Stop the Stigma’ event

A group of students at Dakota Wesleyan University will be holding an event on campus aimed around mental health awareness and combatting stigma.

The ‘Stop the Stigma’ event will take place Thursday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. in the DWU Sherman Center.

What started as a group project for Amber Feigert, Hayden Titze, Katrina Relph and Scott Voje has turned into something much bigger. The group says the purpose behind the event is to better educate the public on mental health awareness, suicide prevention and stopping the stigma that often coincides.

Three influential and passionate advocates for mental health awareness will speak at the event; Angela Drake, Dr. Anne Kelly and Matthew Campbell.

After the loss of her daughter Brittany in March 2016, Drake has made it her mission to turn her tears into armor, and her grief into hope, resources and support. She is the chair of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in South Dakota, the founder of Fight Like a Ninja Scholarship Foundation and hockey tournament and a support group leader for Survivors Joining for Hope.

Kelly is the head of the psychology department at DWU. She is also a psychology autopsy investigator and certified QPR trainer and chair of the Mitchell Area Suicide Prevention Coalition. She has been honored several times at DWU for her educational efforts and achievements.

Campbell is a sophomore at DWU. He has extensive experience with public speaking and has spoken at DWU in the past about his own personal struggles with depression. He is very open with his experiences and has turned it into a testimony of hope.

Feigert, Titze, Relph and Voje, along with the three speakers, hope to shine light on not only the DWU community, but the Mitchell community and surrounding areas. They hope to educate and better inform the public of the resources available to them and encourage anyone who may be struggling to seek help. Mental health and/or suicide affects almost everyone at some point in their lives, whether it be personally or someone close to them. With a topic that hits home for many, a miraculous group of college students are hoping to switch the narrative and offer hope and an opportunity to advocate for something bigger – A movement we can all rally around.