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Week highlights resources

Jillian Barwick | Monday, September 10, 2012

Support a Belle, Love a Belle, a weeklong program dedicated to providing resources for girls struggling with depression and anxiety, begins today at Saint Mary’s.

Senior Meghan Casey, vice president of Student Government Association (SGA), said Support a Belle, Love a Belle draws attention to a sensitive issue for college women.

“It is a really important issue on our campus and even more important for us to let the students know that there is support for them,” Casey said. “This is a small campus, so it is so important for us, as student leaders, to promote our resources and promote our sisterhood.”

Casey said her job includes making sure students know resources for girls who suffer from anxiety and depression are readily available, and support is always there when students need it.

“The SGA door is always open as well,” Casey said. “We want students to know that we can provide a safe place for them.”

Senior Maureen Parsons, president of SGA, said many girls are already struggling with depression and anxiety when they enter college, but they do not frequently voice their feelings.

“Students don’t realize that they are not the only one suffering because they don’t talk about it,” she said. “We are highlighting these issues with events to show students that they are not alone.”

Junior Kat Sullivan, SGA vice president of external affairs, said she hopes these events will encourage people on campus to be more open about these issues.

“The big thing we want to emphasize with Support a Belle, Love a Belle week is that at Saint Mary’s, we are part of a sisterhood,” Sullivan said. “I wanted to be involved with these events because I have struggled with these issues myself.”

Support a Belle, Love a Belle, which now has a committee of 20 members, has grown greatly since it began last year, Sullivan said.

“We are really excited to see how everything falls into place,” she said.

With such positive involvement from students, Casey said she hopes the program is able to create a club in the upcoming years.

“So many girls are interested, so I think it would make a great organization for years to come,” she said.

Having a great support system is key to making this week successful, Sullivan said.

“This week will hopefully carry out as we continue the rest of our collegiate careers and even after we graduate,” she said. “It is truly important for girls to recognize that everyone struggles and we are here to support those who need it. We have wonderful resources on campus that everyone should be made aware of.”