On the 14th and 15th of March, MuPhas was back in action with their annual Public Health Campaign and this year with a theme that is not foreign to us – Depression. The campaign was officiated by A/Prof Dr. Victor Chuang followed by a melodious performance by our very own Monash Chamber Orchestra. Both days of the event featured several activity booths that conveyed information regarding depression to students in an exciting manner. The most boring yet the most knowledgeable booth was a ‘lecture’ about the distinct differences between depression, sadness, anxiety and stress in the middle of the walkway. If you do not know the difference, look it up, you will be amazed.
Now for the fun part, students were given the opportunity to write all the problems that stressed them out on a balloon and pop it. Apparently popping it will make the individual feel a little less stressed. I’m not sure about stressing others with the sound of popping balloons, though. Of course, not forgetting that our physical health plays a major role in maintaining the stability of our mental health, the MuPhas team had also set up a health screening booth to measure students’ BMI and blood pressure. Surprisingly, there were so many students who left in denial as they told themselves that age, or genetics were the contributing factor to their increased body weight.
The name of this booth explains it all – Coffee, Cookies & Conversations with the Counsellors. Just like the Liverpool fans say, ‘You Never Walk Alone’. The counsellors are always there for students in need, ever ready to listen their struggles and sorrows. So, if you have a problem just put your hands out and seek for help, you will never have to walk alone again.
During lunch break in Day 2, all eyes were on the Monash University Street Dance Club dancers with their Kpop and urban dance performance. It is undoubtedly a cliché to say that one does not dance to impress but dances to express. However, it is quite true that dancing is a great activity that allows one to channel their aggression and the dance form one chooses also says a lot about their emotions and feelings.
On a serious note, recent events in our country suggests that suicide has been the most common way out for depressed and conflicted souls. This issue was highlighted in a Suicide Prevention Workshop conducted by Mr Vincent Pun TP from Befrienders KL. Mr Vincent briefly explained to the participants the common stigmas about suicide and responsibilities of the NGO. The participants were also exposed to ways on identifying a suicidal individual and how to reach out to them.
The ultimate takeaway from this campaign is never to underestimate the severity of depression as it might cost someone’s life. As a daughter/son, brother/sister, or even a friend you should always keep a look out for the people close to you. Constantly let them know that you are there for them. Similarly, seek for help when you are struggling.
In Monash you’ll never walk a alone, my friend!
Article by Divyah
Photos by Christal Fong and Joseph Ma