This Wednesday, March 6 at 8 p.m., Mental Health Outreach Peer Educators (M-HOPE) will be hosting its annual Positive Expressions Night at the University Undergrounds in the University Union. The event will feature an open mic session, artistic performances by student groups and an “art walk” featuring paintings and drawings that Binghamton University students submitted to the show.
The event will be hosted by M-HOPE interns. M-HOPE is a group of student ambassadors for the University Counseling Center (UCC) who work under Health Promotion and Prevention Services and focus on increasing mental health awareness on campus. Members of the group spread awareness by tabling, serving on campus committees and hosting events based around the topics of mental health and wellness. According to Sarah Sutton, an M-HOPE intern and a senior double-majoring in human development and psychology, special events hosted by M-HOPE are meant to offer students support and supplement the services of the UCC.
“Mental health has become such a growing issue recently, especially on college campuses,” Sutton said. “We have been doing our best to become more understanding as a school. The UCC offers many excellent services, but there is always more we can do to make sure students are being provided with the support they need.”
This will be the third year M-HOPE will be hosting the event. According to Sutton, the event will feature a new aspect this year by adding a collaborative art piece where people can write positive messages.
“Students should expect to see lots of amazing performances from their fellow students,” Sutton said. “There will be the opportunity to view artwork that is also made by other students. The collaborative art piece would let students not performing also contribute to the night.”
On-campus student groups such as The Treblemakers, Slam Poetry Club, Hoop Troop and others will be contributing to the event with performances along with the open mic portion, where any student can walk up to the stage and participate. Volunteers from coed service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega will also help set up the event and assist students who attend the event. Refreshments will be provided as well as the opportunity to win prizes. For the art walk, students are encouraged to submit up to five works each and share their perspectives on how mental health and art intersect in their lives.
Sutton said the goal of the event is to let students take a break from their work with a night of entertainment.
“We want to promote mental health awareness through positive outlets that involve self-expression such as the arts and performance,” Sutton said. “Hopefully, students will take this as an opportunity to de-stress.”
M-HOPE’s Positive Expressions Night will be held in the University Union Undergrounds on Wednesday, March 6 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.