Mental illness affects an average of one in four college students. Statistically, that means that 1,227 undergraduates at Case Western Reserve University could be affected, the equivalent of the class of 2017.
Theta Chi fraternity saw this as an issue on campus and decided to embrace it, said fifth-year student James Fitzpatrick, the group’s Vice President of Health and Safety. The fraternity inaugurated Mental Health Awareness Week to bring the issue to the forefront of CWRU’s campus.
“It’s one of the most prevalent issues on our campus,” Fitzpatrick said. He attributes the rise of mental illness on CWRU’s campus to the high-strung, motivated and self-critical students that the school attracts.
The event, which ran from Nov. 3 to 8, featured guest speakers and open forums for people to learn and discuss mental health issues. There was also an Ultimate Frisbee tournament. It concluded with a charity dinner benefiting the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
“It was moving to see the community [come out],” Fitzpatrick said. He hopes that Mental Health Awareness week can help people get the help they need.
The fraternity is already looking towards the future. In five years, Fitzpatrick hopes that Mental Health Awareness week is a larger, more inclusive event.
“That’s really all I can ask for,” he said.