Despite the discussion of mental health awareness and recovery not being as taboo as it was in the past, it is still not a subject that is typically talked about in depth. Hence the misconceptions. Hence the stigma. Hence the fear and shame to seek help. This is quite a shame since, in America, approximately 1 in 5 adults—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences some form of mental illness in a given year, according to NAMI, the National Alliance of Mental Illness, the nation's biggest grassroots mental health organization). There are common patterns among certain mental illnesses, however not everyone experiences everything quite the exact same way. That does not make one experience any less authentic than someone else's. You are credible. And you are not alone.
Recovery is possible.
HERE AT PCC ….. There are so many resources for help. There is free (well, you paid for it with your tuition fees so you might as well make use of it), confidential, personal counseling at D-203 (Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday 8am - 6:30pm and Thursday & Friday 8am - 4pm). As long as something, anything, is preventing your academic success, you may walk in and schedule an appointment to put the steps in order to problem solve. PCC has Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS) and they offer classroom accommodations, alternate media services, assistive technology, deaf/hard of hearing (DHH Services), and test accommodations. There are also programs for veterans and foster youth. Don’t be afraid to reach out. Everyone struggles sometimes. It doesn’t need to be a problem. As time evolves, mental health issues are discussed more and more. However, psychological disorders are widely underreported everywhere, and that does not need to be the case. There is always that strain, that stigma, that awkward atmosphere of walking around eggshells around people with psychological diagnoses, if not outright discrimination and persecution. In this safe little haven, you will not be judged, you will not be avoided as if you are dangerous, you will not be looked upon as if you are an idiot. You may have a mental disability but you are not stupid. Step right in. You are welcomed and cordially invited to peruse this issue.
Welcome to this maze of organized chaos.
The work featured in this issue are art, photographs, poems, short stories, interviews, and reviews. Robyn Cheng’s poem, “Growl,” is simple in wording yet complex and poetic in the depth of the emotion and the imagery. Let her take a glimpse in her world as her wolf trails behind in the distance. Don’t fear. If you run, it will chase after you. This year’s Handley Award Winner, Cassie Wilson, wrote about body image, the impact it can have on your self image and your mental health... how ugly it can make you feel... She speaks of overcoming the obstacles. Eating disorders are no easy walk in the park. The journey of finding yourself, of self love, and of becoming the warrior we are all meant to be is intimately illustrated in this review. Furthermore, this time, we have a limited number of original artwork for the zine. And it is... absolutely gorgeous. The detail. The colors. The angles of each aspect... fits this issue perfectly. No words can express how beautiful the prints are. A special thank you to Professor Kris Pilon and her ineffable print lab students.
We appreciate you!
In our interview section for this issue we talk with a case manager, two therapists, a peer partner, and one mental health client in order to get insight into all facets of today’s mental health challenges, issues, and concerns. For example, we talk with Krista and Cynthia who shares the in’s and out’s of being a therapist and we talk with Nina who discusses aspects of her perception of mental illness. Upon retrospect, mental illness is more commonplace than one would expect. Media often plays a part in associating acts of violence with mental illness and craziness. Yet mental illness is so loosely defined that truly so many actions may also be deemed as crazy. Therefore, Inscape produced this to promote awareness and beat stigma.