TYLER KEOHANE | Reporter
The first diversity dialogue this year happened on Tuesday and highlighted mental health concerns among college students at Lindenwood University.
Whitney Mathison, the director of the Student Counseling and Resource Center, moderated the three panelists and led the discussion focusing on mental health on college campuses, specifically Lindenwood.
Each panelist specialized the discussion into his or her own talking points, which included racial microaggressions, mental health in the LGBTQ community and mental health related to alcohol and drugs.
The first panelist, Jehan Ganachaud of Washington University and Webster University, discussed how toxic masculinity affects the mental health on college campuses.
“If you look at the news and see all this violence…” Ganachaud said, “it’s all done by men.”
Ganachaud said that toxic masculinity is about power and dominance, and believes it is a contributing factor to violence in the modern society.
The second panelist, Clifton Glore, focused in on mental health effects of the LGBTQ community. Glore recalled a memory of when he went to the store and saw a father and son shopping. The son was playing with what was probably a doll, and the father took it away because “it was a girl’s toy.”
Telling children that some toys are specifically for boys and some for girls gives them the idea that they have to act a certain way, according to Dacoda Scarlett, a member of the audience.
The third panelist, Verne Wilson, came from Maryville University to talk about drugs and alcohol and the effects of those on mental health.
He informed the audience of statistics about drugs and alcohol on college campuses, and offered help to anyone struggling.
The overall theme that Mathison came back to was “microaggressions.” Microaggressions, Mathison said, can include insults, assaults and invalidations. Every person experiences microaggressions in a different way.
The goal of holding the diversity dialogues is to expand students’ knowledge with open and objective discussion topics. The purpose of holding a discussion on mental health was to further students understanding of what to do when a situation concerning mental health arises at college.
The dialogues are held once a month.
A full list of the events can be found on the Office of Student Life and Diversity page.