Amongst the madness of finals week, Delta Beta Tau hosts events that allow people to reflect upon their stress and emphasize the importance of maintaining mental health. This is known as our Mental Health Awareness Week.
On Monday, we set up a table on campus with a big board, push pins, and post-its, and a sign that says “WHY DO YOU SUFFER?”, inviting people to write it down and pin in on the board.
More often than not, a lot of people pass our board and say “I do not suffer”.
Suffering may seem like a drastic word, but dukkha, which translates to suffering, is merely just the stress, pain, and unsatisfying aspects of everyone’s life.
When we ask people to tell us why they suffer, we hope that it helps them consider the root of their dukkha, and that they can leave their pain on the board.
On Tuesday, we ask people to come to our table and write out something nice for a stranger; it could be a compliment, words of encouragement, or just anything that you think would make someone smile. It’s beautiful to see how many people on campus are willing to make someone’s day. More often than not, we receive a lot of words of wisdom through these notes, and we get to learn from the community around us.
Wednesday is the day of our public meditation, which we hold weekly. We begin with a short meditation, then, afterwards there is an open discussion about the topic of the night. The topics are typically based off of the elements of the Eightfold Path, and how they relate or can be applied to your own life. Many people get introduced to DBT through our weekly meditations. It is not only a peaceful ending to your day, but it allows for self-reflection. Even if you don't want to speak during the discussion, you can learn so much just from listening, and it's comforting knowing that other people on campus may be in the same boat as you.
For a lot of DBT members, Thursday is the best day of the week. This is when we hand out all of the compliments that we, and other people on campus, wrote. Most people don’t know what is in the note that we hand them, and once they open and read it, the pleasant surprise puts a smile on their face. It is uplifting to see their reactions, and hopefully, it inspires them to give warm words to someone else that day.
We end MHAW on Friday with Yoga, lead by members of our organization. The practice is its own form of meditation, with the controlled breathing and physical poses, it enhances relaxation and allows for a healthy way to reduce stress.
Mental Health Awareness week has become apart of the heart of Delta Beta Tau. Every student understands the pressure that comes with finals week, and the events held during MHAW are meant to ease the mind and take a step back from the chaos of exams and studying. Through these events, we hope to remind everyone that one week of madness should not be enough to question your value and harm your state of mind. You are worth more than just a grade!