Sacramento City College’s ASHÉ Center presents a mental health and wellness event for Black History Month


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Director of Student Care Meg McMahon Johnson spoke at the mental health and wellness event. McMahon Johnson discussed the stigmas of mental health as well as human resources to talk to when dealing with mental health.

Sacramento City College’s ASHÉ Center, which stands for African American student healing and empowerment, hosted a mental health and wellness event on Wednesday discussing the topics of mental health and self-care to students and staff.
In the event, Director of Student Care Meg McMahon Johnson, presented a slideshow presentation and spoke about the stigmas of mental health, where anxiety and stress occurs at, what stress and anxiety looks like, what anxiety feels like and human resources we should talk to when dealing with mental health.
“I have the absolute pleasure to work with college students in the area of mental health and wellness,” McMahon Johnson said. “I do a lot of programming and working with a lot of our counseling partners in the area just to make sure that our students have a holistic approach to their success.”
In the first slide, McMahon Johnson talked about the stigmas of mental health and how culture plays a huge role of how we label ourselves as well as the different experiences we have.
“It can be very difficult if you know that somebody or you yourself are struggling with some sort of mental health issues that we sometimes tend to look at each other differently because of that,” McMahon Johnson said. “We process and internalize things differently because we have to express them differently.”
McMahon Johnson said students deal with many things in their life, such as school and work, along with getting the help they need for their mental health.
“Just because you may struggle with a mental illness or you may feel depressed at times, anxious, stressed or overwhelmed, doesn’t equal weakness,” McMahon Johnson said. “Just because you always put on the strong face, doesn’t mean you’re not struggling, it just means you’re not allowing other people to see what you’re struggling with.”
McMahon Johnson then discussed where anxiety and stress could occur at.
“It may absolutely be that we struggle at work, at school, with family, romantic relationships, friendships,” McMahon Johnson said. “It is embedded into every piece and every fabric of what we do and where we show up.”
She also discussed what stress and anxiety can look like.
“We have to be able to take a step back and actually address what’s going on with us, our mental well being is so important because if we don’t address it, it spills out into every area of our lives,” McMahon Johnson said.
She went on to explain how anxiety can feel like sleeplessness as well as lacking motivation.
“Sometimes, we have to stop ourselves and ask that question, ‘Am I cool’? because it’s self-reflective a lot of times when we talk about mental health and being mentally well,” McMahon Johnson said.
McMahon Johnson said it’s important to be mindful that we share our life stories with good human resources because not everyone may understand them and what we go through.
“You hear things like, ‘It’s not that bad’ ‘people have it worse,’ ‘Oh just get over it,’ ‘It should be alright,’ sometimes, these are well intentioned responses, but they do nothing to help us in the moment,” McMahon Johnson said. “If you need to share, counseling is an amazing resource to have a space where you can openly talk to somebody without judgement.”
SCC’s Student Personnel Specialist Lisa Hayden said the word “no” is a powerful thing anyone could say.
“I think that’s truly growth right there and being proactive about our mental health and our wellness,” Hayden said.
If you need to talk to somebody, it doesn’t have to be about your academics, SCC Counselor Ken Times said.