Although plans for the program began in the fall of 2019, the pilot launch was timely because many students were having anxiety and feeling distressed after the death of George Floyd in police custody last summer and the subsequent rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. “They were isolated because of the pandemic and had nowhere to share their experience.” Stormy Miller, Director of Student Accessibility and Psychological Services at College of Marin, agrees. “What’s happening in the world right now creates an even greater need for us to understand how our students of color engage and how we might shift our approach to better meet their needs. “Our ultimate goal is to create an equity-centered approach to mental health.”
Call to Courage workshop topics included identity; culture and privilege; vulnerability; navigating emotions and relationships; mental health first aid; restorative justice; and social justice.
Paula Hernández, a third-year psychology student at COM who attended the workshop, said, “In a world where stereotypes label you, it makes it difficult to show your true self. A takeaway for me is that I will strive to be the person I’ve always wanted to be, as long as I stay true to myself.”