U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy visited ASU on Monday for the “We Are Made to Connect Tour.”
The town hall-style discussion, moderated by Emma Broyles, a senior studying biomedical sciences, centered on the pervasive issue of loneliness and the importance of fostering social connections to improve health and well-being. Ta.
Mr Murthy said he was “deeply concerned about the mental health crisis among young people” and believed it was “the defining public health challenge of our time”.
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Over the past few years, COVID-19 has taken a “severe toll on our mental health and well-being,” Murthy said. “It created an invisible wound and affected our behavior at work and school.”
Murthy said addressing emotional pain is just as important as physical pain.
“As humans, when we are experiencing pain, we try to relieve it,” Marcy said. “We can feel emotional pain just as deeply as physical pain.”
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Prior to the event, event organizers sent out survey questions asking participants about their sense of connection at ASU. Murthy later said more than 80% of respondents expressed a lack of connections at university or a desire to make more connections.
Prince Singh, a graduate student studying mechanical engineering who participated in the event, said, “When I see people having a community where they feel safe and protected, it gives me the strength to open up[about depression]. “I’m coming,” he said.
“I was reluctant to even share it with my family, but now I’m sharing it with strangers,” Singh said.
According to Murthy, social connections are a key part of the solution to loneliness.
The university offers free counseling and group therapy to connect students with resources to help. Professor Murthy said mental health support was becoming easier to access through expanded campus services and the introduction of a crisis line, 988, which connects individuals to trained mental health counselors by phone or text message.
“When you check in on someone, you’re not just checking in on someone,” Murthy said. “You’re looking at people and their values.”
The quality of connections is more important than the quantity of people. In other words, Marcy says it’s important to consider deep connections rather than hundreds of online acquaintances.
read more: Navigating the college social scene brings challenges and rewards
Broyles also opened up about her personal struggles with anxiety and depression during her time as Miss America, and how she couldn’t eat or sleep for two weeks after relinquishing the title.
“I’m an international student and I’m suffering from loneliness without my parents,” said Samrat Selikaliev, a third-year student studying business data analysis. “This event was important because from now on I will find a way to deal with these feelings.”
Marcy likened social connections to the foundations of home and the importance of making people feel “aware and empowered.”
Pilar McCann, a fourth-year student studying neuroscience and psychology, said, “I especially appreciated how Dr. Murthy took the time out of her talk to encourage people in the audience to send messages of appreciation. I was grateful.” “It emphasized the importance of his message and gave me time to think about the people I care about. Prioritizing real connections with people over the false connections provided by social media.” And we can strengthen our mental health.”
Edited by Gray Guertin, Walker Smith, and Jasmine Kabiri.
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Hunter Rea is a photographer from New Orleans who has also lived in Ohio and Indiana. He is studying software engineering and business administration at Arizona State University. Upon his graduation, he plans to move to Los Angeles and start his own software development company.
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