Event highlights, seeks input on campus resources for mental health in diverse populations

November 3, 2014  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University resources for mental health services will be discussed during a Nov. 12 forum.

A town hall discussion on Mental Health in Diverse Populations is 4:30-6 p.m. in Stewart Center, Room 214. It is free and open to the public. The event, organized by the CLA Diversity Action Committee, will begin with a panel discussion and then open for questions and discussion with the audience.

"We are particularly motivated in reaching students in diverse and underserved populations such as ethnic minorities, LGBT students, international students, students with disabilities and low-income students," said Lorraine Kisselburgh, an assistant professor of communication and chair of the committee. "We want students to be aware of what services exist but we also need to hear from them about the challenges and issues they face. Our goal is to identify unique challenges of mental health in diverse populations, raise awareness of resources that exist on campus and in the community, foster public dialogue about gaps, and identify opportunities for change."

Joel Ebarb, associate professor and chair of the Division of Theatre, will moderate the event. The panelists and topics are:

* David Rollock, associate professor of psychological sciences, will discuss mental health challenges among ethnic minority populations.

* Susan Prieto-Welch, director of CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) will discuss campus resources.

* Lan Jin, graduate student in consumer sciences, will discuss issues among international student populations.

* Nichole Ramirez, graduate student in engineering education and member of Purdue's chapter of National Alliance on Mental Illness, will discuss student-driven organization to support students with mental illnesses.

"Students from some cultures may feel reluctant to talk about or seek help from mental health services and we want to help them know it is OK and what resources are available to them," said Wei Hong, a professor of Chinese and member of the committee. "We are opening this event to the community so people can learn more and even share these resources with their friends."

Kisselburgh said, "The success of the forum depends on our ability to engage a diverse audience to participate in the discussion, so we can understand students needs that may not yet be met."

The forum will be Open Captioned, and audience questions can be submitted vocally or via text on an electronic discussion board.

The CLA Diversity Forum is supported by the College of Liberal Arts, Division of Diversity and Inclusion, Office of the Dean of Students, Graduate School, International Programs, Office of Institutional Equity, Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Latino Cultural Center. The CLA Diversity Action Committee responds to diversity issues in the College of Liberal Arts and advises the college administration on emerging issues. 

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

Sources: Lorraine Kisselburgh, lorraine@purdue.edu

Wei Hong, hongwei@purdue.edu

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