NICHOLLE SALVATIERRA AND DANYEL WHYTE | STAFF WRITER
Students from various colleges met to spread awareness on Mental Health at Riverside City College to attend the Southern Regional conference and mental health-strategizing forum on March 29.
Southern Student Regional Student leadership held the conference in the Cafeteria food services building where students met at 7:30 a.m. They were fed breakfast and bags with various prizes such as t-shirts and stress balls. The first 100 students were given drink holders in their bags.
Congressman Mark Takano spoke at the event. Takano’s speech was scattered in an attempt to relate to both leadership and mental health aspects of the conference. He discussed his devotion to the community college system, as a former RCC trustee. Takano also discussed his personal experience helping with his schizophrenic grandmother.
This represents the first time RCC has hosted a regional leadership conference for division 9.
The theme of the conference, “reach connect empower,” is to help students understand the purpose and power they have to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of those around them.
Associated Students of Riverside City College President, Doug Figueroa spoke and encouraged students to use the conference as an opportunity to network.
Speaker Doug Figueroa held a one-hour conference with a student lea initiative to spread awareness on mental health and suicide. Attendees from different colleges were able to voice opinions and help collaborate ideas on how to help fellow students deal with depression.
“To be successful, you need to surround yourself with successful people,” Figueroa said.
It was the goal of ASRCC to provide students an experience similar to that of larger leadership conferences.
“As students we can’t always go to the big $200 conferences,” Figueroa said. RCC students were able to attend this conference
for $20 or $25 late registration.
Following the opening ceremony students participated in an icebreaker activity, where they danced in between questions.
The attendees were given one-on-one time to build relationships with one another through lunch and activities. The event provided lunch from In-N-Out, smoothies, vendors, and a photo booth to remember this enlightening event.
Attendees then split off to attend workshops to develop leadership skills or receive information on transferring. Students, alumni and faculty of various colleges including RCC, Norco and Palomar
Crest Wood College presented a 6-minute video targeted on reaching out to one another. It sparked conversation and awareness on suicide rates and encouraged authenticity of individuals.
“When we take the time to really take interest in people, the better we are as a group, the more successful we are and the more things we get to accomplish” said Doug Figueroa, the Mental Health Ambassador lead.
One of the questions sparked at the seminar was how society views people with mental illnesses. “I think society really looks down at metal health and people are scared to say they have a mental issue,” said RCC student Bristol La Webb But the speaker made the point clear that
To finalize this event speaker Jon Vroman hosted an event on College Life in the Front Row.
“He was engaged and relatable,” said Miguel Bagsit, Vice President of ASRCC. “Every moment of what we do matters.”