The Matters

Each spoke of UMatter represents an aspect of well-being for students at Chico State.

Through talking about these aspects of well-being, UMatter aims to...

  • increase awareness about how mental health and mental illness impacts our students.
  • decrease the stigma that prevents students from accessing help.
  • increase bystander intervention if students, staff, or faculty see a student in distress.

How can you help?

Increase your awareness

  1. Educate yourself about mental illness. Seek out information that not only dispels myths about mental health, but helps you understand the "lived experience" of people with mental illness diagnoses:
  2. Learn to identify and validate your own feelings. The more accurately you can identify your feelings, the better you will get at making decisions and communicating with others.
    • What are you feeling right now? (Remember, you can experience more than one feeling at a time!)
  3. Pay attention to your self-talk. Self-compassion is one of the key components of positive mental health.
    You can build resilience by changing your inner dialogue.
    • What's the meanest thing you say to yourself when you've made a mistake?
    • What could you say instead? (Think of what you might say to comfort a friend.)

Decrease stigma

  1. Start a conversation with a friend or family member about mental health. What promotes it? What diminishes it?
  2. Avoid stigmatizing phrases like, "She's psycho," or "I'm so bipolar" to describe normal emotional fluctuations.
  3. Use person-centered language. For example, instead of "She's anorexic," try saying, "She has anorexia."

Be an informed bystander

Signs of an emotional crisis:

  1. Significant DISTRESSING EVENTS that might have recently occurred (e.g., a breakup or health concern).
  2. A significant CHANGE in behavior (e.g., drinking more, reckless or risky behavior).
  3. Talk of HOPELESSNESS that things will get better.

If you are concerned about someone's emotional well-being, listen to them and reassure them that you want to help. Encourage this person to seek out professional help, if necessary.