Puppies, a candlelight vigil, and a mental health town hall. The Academic Cultural Assembly (ACA) is giving students the opportunity to join any of these events on campus during their program “Mental Health Awareness Month”.
As an assembly under the programming branch of USG, ACA aims to host events that “inform, entertain and engage students” to enrich USC academic and life experience, according to its website.
During this month, ACA is holding multiple to encourage students to address mental health and seek additional resources available on campus, according to its website. The events are a part of the “flagship program” the organization hosts every year.
ACA Assistant Director Justin Cheng said there are a few changes and improvements for this year.
“Every semester we have new people that we recruit for our E-board and for interns and we give them the opportunity to… create and to execute their own events so that’s why every year there are some changes,” he said.
Cheng said he hopes students get involved in the events to express their feelings instead of “internalizing” their mental health conditions.
“[Students] think of it as something to keep inside themselves and solve themselves when in actuality it is better to seek help from other people,” he said. “The best way to help with mental health is discussing it openly.”
Other events for the month include a counselor meet and greet, meditation in the Village, and a movie screening.
ACA hopes to not only help students combat stress but also raise mental health awareness around campus, which has already improved these years, according to Cheng.
“With mental health being such a big issue today and on many campuses across the US, that’s what we decided to incorporate mental health as part of our mission because we believe mental health is a key part of academic culture now more than ever,” Cheng said.