President Eddinger and BHCC Student Participate in a Discussion on Mental Health in Community Colleges
Friday, January 14, 2022
On Thursday, January 13, Dr. Pam Eddinger, President of Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC), and BHCC psychology student Julia Vogel participated in an event titled: Call to Mind Live: Pass or fail - mental health in community colleges. The discussion focused on understanding and navigating the mental health gaps in community colleges.
In her interview, Julia Vogel was candid about her mental health diagnosis. “Earlier in life, nobody made a big deal about it, but I’ve always been open about it, not ashamed about it,” said Vogel. “But now people can be so mean and cruel and say mean things.”
Vogel expressed her desire to work in the mental health field “because, while having mental health challenges myself, I will be able to be more empathetic and compassionate in ways other people couldn’t, who haven’t experienced such challenges.”
PBS NewsHour Student Reporter Lourdes Bullo interviewed Dr. Eddinger about food and housing insecurity among community college students and how this impacts their mental health. “About 54 percent of our students are food insecure, which means over the last 30 days, they had to make choices between food and something else: food or rent; food or buying books; food or traveling to school,” said Dr. Eddinger. “Because community colleges educate about 50 percent of all the undergraduates in the United States, those numbers can be staggering.”
Dr. Eddinger also shared that 14 percent of BHCC students are homeless. “When you think about what makes a student successful in the classroom, those basic needs are key.” BHCC has a dedicated webpage with basic needs resources. Link to webpage: bhcc.edu/basicneeds.
Food insecurity impacts the everyday health of community college students. Bunker Hill Community College now has a 24/7 counseling hotline that supports multiple languages called My Student Support Program (My SSP). To learn more and download the free app, visit bhcc.edu/studentlife/counselingpreventionandwellness/mystudentsupportprogram