Addressing mental health stigma through awareness

Hope120 is a mental health awareness organization on campus that spreads news and provides community for students by facilitating conversations about mental health to end the stigma of mental health. Laura Hurley, Josie Knapp, Holly Bosley and Francisco Arevalo started the group roughly a year ago. 

Hope120 was created to make a positive impact on the lives of the people at Hastings College. They are working to expand their reach on campus to more students by sending out newsletters, increasing their presence on social media and hosting events on campus. A conversation summit will be presented by the group for the day on Oct. 8. Hope120 wants to provide a supportive community on the HC campus where it is okay to talk about mental health.

Hope120 partners with various groups such as the football team and have a relationship with the counseling departments at HC to help acquaint students with the school counselors. The group also hosts their own events such as café talks and distributing bracelets that say “It’s ok to not be ok” to provide support for students.

Hope120 partnered with a portion of the football team to give out cookies at Cookies for Life on Sept. 14–15. The student organization also handed out cards with information about various resources offered in Hastings. 

“[Hope120] tries to just promote conversations surrounding mental health to help break the stigma,” Bosley said. 

Hope120 partners mostly with sports teams and the members of the human performance team to provide support to athletes on campus. 

According to Bosely, “mental health is not talked about nearly enough and it’s never seen as something that athletes struggle
with.”

Bosley was one of the founding members who decided to help form the group after she was approached by Arevalo, who was looking to “better address mental health on our campus and…help those that are struggling.” 

Bosely chose to start the group because she began to understand the struggles with mental health issues as she saw it happening to the people around her in her life after she came to HC.