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ULM art students create a mental health mural

It’s a way to inspire young adults to seek help
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 6:20 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 19, 2022 at 6:25 PM CST
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - A group of ULM art students created a mural with a specific purpose. The class designed the project to help students identify signs of mental illness and encourage young adults to seek help.

A recent study from the Mayo Clinic shows that 44 percent of undergraduates are battling mental illness and COVID-19 is causing the numbers to rise. Many college students are struggling silently and don’t know where to turn to seek help. One ULM undergraduate says last year was one of the toughest years in her life.

“Being a college student and a first-time mom, I dealt with a little post postpartum depression, and believe it or not, mental health weighed a lot on my ability to interact with my peers, be focused in school, and be diligent in my studies,” said Chiemeka Onyemechara, the ULM Student.

ULM Assistant Art Professor Brooke Foy says her class created this mural to let students know they are not alone. The artwork has pictures and messages to teach students to identify signs of mental illness.

“We have a lot of different things that are being addressed on the mural from substance abuse, from physical, emotional abuse, from anxiety from depression all sorts of things that happen with your mental health,” she said.

Foy says Northeast Delta Human Service Authority is sponsoring the mural and the organization will provide students with solutions to help them overcome mental challenges.

“We provide behavioral health and primary healthcare services. We’re going to take this message, this 50 foot mural beyond this campus. You will see it in this 12 parish region. You will see it on high school campuses in our opportunity zone. You will see it in some of our museums around the region as well,” said DeRon Talley, the Delta Human Services Authority Public Information Director.

Officials say the goal is to inspire young adults to know when to reach out for help.

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