If Rocky Mountain College students have opened up their Moodle pages recently, they might have noticed a new class titled RMC Mental Health Awareness and Well-Being. This new class is open to all students and faculty members. Darius Henderson, an RMC senior, wanted to create a platform that would bring awareness to and normalize mental health challenges. He also wanted to reduce the shame that people often feel surrounding mental health issues. To accomplish all of this, he created the Mental Health Awareness podcast. Henderson’s goal was “to provide education, information, and resources for RMC college students to reduce the potential negative impact for those who experience mild to moderate mental health challenges, which otherwise becomes a barrier to productivity and well-being”.
When he was younger, Henderson experienced first-hand the behaviors and consequences that came with undiagnosed mental health challenges. These life stressors and trauma followed him throughout his life and he finally decided to do something about it. Through the podcast, he wants people to know that those feelings are normal and okay. It doesn’t matter who you are, you are going to experience issues regarding mental health in one way or another. This year especially, with the novel coronavirus and constant quarantining; isolation brings big complications for mental health. Henderson wanted to make it clear that not all mental health is negative and the upkeep of one’s positive mindset is part of mental health awareness. The podcast opens up a safe space to talk about things that some people might be scared to discuss and shines a light on a topic that many believe to be negative.
As of Feb 27, Henderson has posted three different episodes paired with a PowerPoint on the Moodle page. His first episode was focused on managing anxiety and featured Dr. Bob Wilmouth, RMC’s President where they “turned up the value and silenced the shame” on the importance of understanding and managing anxiety. The second episode focused on homesickness and featured student-athlete Nick Hart. The third and newest episode featured guest speakers Maxim Stephens and Reana Pederson who continued the examination of homesickness and the feelings that follow. On his YouTube page, Henderson has uploaded the current episodes that are on Moodle, as well as a bonus episode that focuses on urban life and mental health awareness. Henderson is also working on creating a YouTube page specifically for the podcast.
For any student or faculty member that would like to listen to the podcast, all three episodes are up on Moodle under the RMC Mental Health Awareness and Well-Being class that is located on the homepage of Moodle. Simply click on the class and you will be able to join. If you are interested in joining or have ideas for topics, you can email Darius Henderson at his Rocky email. The Mental Health Awareness and Well-Being podcast is a great way for students and faculty to learn how to take care of their mental health.