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Stopping the Stigma One Canvas at A Time

Kicking Off Mental Health Awareness Month with designated time to de-stress, get creative, and be there for one another
Gianluca Canseco

In recognition of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, MSJC’s mental health club, Active Minds, put on an event to raise awareness, ease students’ stress, and start the conversation on mental health. Located at the Menifee campus on May 7th, “Canvas and Chamomile” was hosted from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. As an event created only to paint, drink chamomile tea, and talk with other students, the atmosphere was calming and fun as students painted and talked about mental health.

Gianluca Canseco

With canvases, paint brushes, water cups, and an assortment of different colors of paint available, you could let your imagination soar by creating anything you desire. From photorealistic portraits to psychedelic scenes, your creation was up to you. While painting, participants were encouraged to socialize with the other painters about anything they so desired, mental health being a big one.

To complement the judgment-free artistic atmosphere, a table set with chamomile tea, sugar, and cookies was provided. Next to that was a table offering free mental health stickers and MSJC t-shirts. The stickers had positive words like “therapy is cool” or butterflies with a semicolon as the body. All in an effort to end the negative stigma associated with mental illness.

Gianluca Canseco

“We wanted students to talk about mental health or any other topics to de-stress as it gets closer to finals. The goal for our previous Active Minds speaker events have been to raise awareness and reduce the stigma of not being able to talk to one another about important mental health topics. We were really excited to create and host this canvas and chamomile event, which had a great turnout, more than we expected! It felt like our club members and students had that designated time to de-stress, get creative, and be there for one another”                      Active Minds President Laila Akberzie

With a very friendly group of people, free calming tea with cookies, cool stickers, and an overall peaceful environment, it’s a great way to kick off National Mental Health Awareness Month.

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About the Contributors
Mia Rotell
Mia Rotell, Writer
Hi! My name is Mia Rotell and I am a writer and editor for The Talon! I'm going on my second year at MSJC and my second semester at The Talon. I'm extremely passionate about writing and storytelling, which makes me put my all into my pieces and always on the lookout for a story to cover. I'm currently a Journalism major and plan on getting my bachelor's degree in Journalism and Media Communications. My ultimate goal is to be an editor at a major publication like TIME Magazine or one that highlights people/ events of different cultures and backgrounds. Outside my articles, I like to read, write, do yoga, paint, travel, and collect old books.
Gianluca Canseco
Gianluca Canseco, VP and Managing Editor / Writer / Photographer
Hello! My name is Gianluca Canseco. I am working on transferring to (Hopefully) UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. This is my second year at MSJC and my second year as a part of the Talon Student Newspaper. I came to the Talon to improve my writing skills to become a full-time author. Maybe move to New York, who knows? I mainly write local news and, to push me out of my comfort zone, I interview a lot of staff and locals. I like to say I’m a people writer because I’m so intrigued by everyone’s stories and aspirations, so I hope this will translate well into my own books. As of right now, I live a pretty busy life. When I get the chance I like to paint, work out, and read. My favorite book is “Less Than Zero” by Bret Easton Ellis. Fun fact: I love primates. I would’ve been an anthropologist if my love for writing wasn’t greater. 
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