• July 5, 2024

Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

By breaking the silence, raising awareness, and uplifting and elevating the voices and lived experiences of BIPOC communities, we can take a step towards improving mental health in minority communities. This month serves as a vital reminder of the unique challenges faced by minority groups in accessing mental health care and the importance of addressing these disparities.

Mental health stigma often disproportionately affects Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), leading to underutilization of mental health services and untreated mental health conditions. By fostering open conversations and providing culturally sensitive resources, we can help reduce the stigma and create supportive environments where individuals feel comfortable seeking help.

Raising awareness about the mental health struggles specific to minority communities is crucial. Systemic inequalities, discrimination, and cultural barriers can exacerbate mental health issues, making it essential to tailor support and interventions to the needs of these communities. Education and advocacy play key roles in highlighting these issues and promoting equity in mental health care.

Uplifting the voices of those with lived experiences is fundamental in this endeavor. Listening to and amplifying the stories of BIPOC individuals can provide valuable insights into their challenges and needs. It also helps build a more inclusive and understanding society where mental health care is accessible to everyone, regardless of their background.

Together, by breaking the silence, raising awareness, and supporting the mental health of minority communities, we can work towards a future where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

STC fosters curiosity by empowering tomorrow’s scientists

The South Texas College Biology and Continuing Education departments, combined efforts to successfully launch their annual Biology Explorers youth summer camp, attracting a full house.

With its kickoff event at the college’s Pecan campus, the week-long camp was designed for elementary and middle-school aged children to embark on a hands-on exploration through the field of biology in a laboratory setting.

Maribel Sanchez, a parent from McAllen, Texas, said she learned about the summer camp through its popularity among other parents, which prompted her to get her children involved in a new and exciting experience.

“My biggest motivation was exposing my kids to a college setting while they also get to learn and develop new skills in topics that they like. This is our first time participating at STC’s camps, but we’re excited to continue enrolling them in these camps in the future,” said Sanchez.

At the Biology summer camp, young scientists dive into a variety of activities that encourage curiosity like learning the basics of lab safety, examining their cells under a microscope and seeing the inner workings of an ecosystem through plant and bacteria growth.

STC Associate Professor of Biology JeanMarie Fors, Ph.D., shares her excitement for the turnout and remarkable growth of the summer camp.

“This is the third summer that I help facilitate the biology camp, and it’s a pleasure to see how much it has grown over the years. This year we have a full roster of new and returning children,” said Fors. “Knowing the kids are eager to learn about science within a college setting is exciting.”

Biology Explorer Elise Cantu, 12, said she was skeptical about trying something new until the first day opened up a new world of ideas and exciting opportunities that she gets to share with her fellow campers.

“At first, I didn’t know what to expect with the camp, but I am loving what we are getting to learn so far and working with the other kids,” Cantu said. “I would love to be a doctor or work in a lab someday, so I am looking forward to all of the lessons they have planned for us, but I might be most excited to take my cool lab coat home.”

Upcoming Biology Explorers summer camps will also be held July 8 – 11 at STC’s Starr County and Mid-Valley campuses.

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