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A Colorful Mind!

The American University In Cairo's Student Union and the ''Mind Your Head Campaign,'' #Break Through the Stigma

Mental minding.  Makefully me.  Meekful mentalities.  Full minding of me.  Mentalities I see.  Of makefully believes.  Mental health.  Of a healthfully me.  Full of mental wellness and possibilities.  Mindfully mental.  As a mentally, you.  Mentally healthy.  So mentally, blue.

(Photograph Taken By SU Member; Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

Imagine a moment, where depression is not a taboo. . .unspoken.  Where the shame of shackles on mental health were broken.  On American college campuses, mental health campaigns are shedding light on the significance of mental health.  The American University in Cairo is no exception.

At 1:00pm, assembly hour, you never always know what you are going to get.  It’s why wandering adventures (on a break), are so important.  So, on that moment.  On that day, mindful coloring, was on full display.  Nature’s persona was up, and love was centered.  Because a reminder was happening.

Did you mind your mental health, today?

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

Too often, the, journey to positive mental health, and mental thinking, is painted as a path of gloom and despair.  Black, gray, and white coloring, are selected as it’s surroundings.  And the emotions of sadness and despair, serve as smells for this fragrance.  That’s why this activity by AUC’s Student Union, was such a phenomenon.  The set-up invoked the Spirit of celebration.  Checking in on one’s mental health, beginning the journey of being healthy-mentally, was transformed into a party.

Pink and green balloons, a writing scroll of love, and the surroundings of happy people.  Mental health was a path of heaven’s relief.  Sadness transformed into joy. Frowns were flipped, upside down.  Love was performed, as the lonely were healed.

                        I see trees of green, red roses too                                                                                                   I see them bloom for me and you                                                                                                  And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

Yes, Mr. Armstrong. I agree with you.  Life IS Beautiful!

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

Mingling with young, Egyptian-Arab women students, highlighted the power of the feminine’s interaction with each other.  Too often, mainstream perceptions draw healing as void of woman’s image-in her natural state.  In mainstream healing practices, healing is restricted solely to pharmaceutical drugs; the sole intent of numbing pain, rather than confronting it.  That’s not to say medication isn’t helpful or beneficial, for those needing it in their mental health journey.  Yet, what is lacking in this conversation is the role of nature-the healing power of nature.

(Photograph Taken By SU Member; Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

(Photograph Taken By SU Member; Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

(Photograph Taken By SU Member; Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

For women, there is great healing, in being in the comfort of other women! 

And then, there was the presence of young, Egyptian-Arab men students.  A powerful barrier had been broken.  A nurturing statement had been made.  Mental health is ALSO, a man’s issue.   This mental health party, was also a form of liberation for. . .men.

Because real men address mental health!  And it doesn’t make one, “less of a man,” to do so.  Through “Mind Your Mental Health,” it became alright for men to cry.  It was cool to articulate if one is not feeling alright.  And stereotypical auras of male aggression, machismo, and dominance were dismantled.  

Have you checked your mental health, today?

(Photograph Taken By SU Member; Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

(Photograph Taken By SU Member; Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

The campaign was further illuminated with a special exercise for all attendees.  Some people would only see it as the mere writing of words on white paper.  Yet, something more profound was taking place.  The restoration of positive energy in the space.  Love, rejuvenation, and hope was spoken. . .in the space.  And furthermore, the reminders of happiness’ unlimited sources, were presented.  With these hidden treasures, sadness and depression can never prevail.  

Negative can never live in streams of positive nourishment.

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

(Photograph Taken By SU Member; Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

(Photograph Taken By SU Member; Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

One of the lasting memories of this event was the bonding, attached to it.  When people feel they are understood, it brings a sense of calm.  Inner peace.  A person feels they can reveal their personhood!  Their individuality.  To be truthful with themselves-even those times, when convincing oneself of being alright-is unacceptable!

A person, who makes health, as part of the mind, is a healthy person.  No stigmas, embarassments, or fears, attached.  Afterall, when you come to a party, you come to have fun.  And healthy parties, are colors of fun!

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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