If you have not noticed already, Facebook has turned green overnight. All around the social media site within our community and beyond, there has been an overwhelming change of profile pictures, shares of the #CWRUcares event, and a number of hashtags and shoutouts, allowing the movement to spread like wildfire.
This social media campaign was initialized by the Students Meeting About Risk and Responsibility (SMARRT) leaders on our campus through the Greek Life Office. Led by their Programming committee, the entire campaign has taken our campus by storm. She says the campaign started to show those with a mental illness that there are help and allies out in the world. She notes that going to a psychologist is no different than going to a family doctor for strep throat and that it is a goal of SMARRT to show our campus community, and eventually the world, that there is help out there and this stigma needs to be depleted.
Like everything in the world, there has been some push back. Negative comments that a green photo will not change anything. But instead of many of the fast supporters of this campaign falling back, they have pushed forward and defended the intention of the social media campaign.
Those who have helped to organize this campaign have also have heard these comments and have pushed to help the campaign move forward and present their idea of making it more than just a profile picture change. At their meeting on Monday, the SMARRT team took these comments seriously and have added many new dimensions to their campaign. They created a new Facebook page where those who are looking for resources can go to find what they need, such as counseling services and how to identify and have tough conversations, and this will continue to be updated as often as possible. In addition to this social media presence, SMARRT also plans on having an open table in the Tinkham Veale University Center that will allow a larger span to reach out and to push against the stigma against mental health. From Feb. 19-Feb. 26 members of SMARRT will provide in-depth information on eating disorders, PTSD, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, suicide and self-harm.
This is a conversation we need to be having in America, and it is starting right here within our community. As we have seen over the last few days, Case Western Reserve University really does care, and there are people, organizations and offices all over this campus that are willing to listen and help. So if you haven’t changed your picture or shared why you care, I encourage you to do so. This is the first step in helping our community and world. Be an ally and say “eff you” to the negative stigma of mental health. #CWRUcares #wecare
Kassie Stewart is a junior political science major. Self-described as Amy Poehler and Joe Walsh’s love child, her mantra is “no day but today.” She enjoys napping, sarcasm and peanut butter.