‘Happy’ educates students about mental health


Sofia RositaniReporter

From Denmark to the South African plains, the documentary “Happy” chronicles how people around the world define happiness.

The three-hour watch event was co-hosted by Michelle Lawler, a counselor at Southern, and the Active Minds Club.

According to Owl Connect, “Active Minds is an awareness and advocacy group focused on mental health issues on campus.” Active Minds provides insight on ways to cope with stress and mental health related issues.

“It was very smart for us to just co-sponsor this together considering that we always focus on depression and anxiety but we never really focus on happiness awareness,” said nursing major, Danielle Jackson, a junior and the president of Active Minds.

After seeing the documentary, Jackson said she had an epiphany that there is more to mental health and ways to cope with it than most realize.

“Coming out [to the documentary], it really made me realize that we are so caught up on work and school that we never really take a step back and just realize that we need to find things that make us happy,” she said.

Lawle said she has been showing this documentary since 2011.

“[The film] compares the United States and different countries and explores what constitutes happiness for others,” she said. “Maybe not the American way, but some of the other countries, so just trying to educate students on themselves to feel better and destress.”

General studies major Janine Walters-Desrosiers, a senior said she was impacted by the film which made her think about her childhood in Jamaica, and her new life in the U.S and how it compares to her current life as a student as well
as, what she hopes to expect in the future.

“During the film it kind of me made think, ‘Wow this was definitely something I was missing,’ and I remember where my roots came from and how I grew up in the church and how people in a whole and helping others makes me a better person,” Walters-Desrosiers said. “I am the most happiest when I am helping people.”

Photo credit: Sofia Rositani

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