Pan-Asian Mental Wellness Association aims to create a home for everyone

Meghana Gorur, president of the Pan-Asian Mental Wellness Association and student of environmental public health, hopes to break the stigma of mental health and build a community for those suffering.

By: 

  • Erinn Aulfinger
October 23, 2018
Meghana Gorur, president of the Pan-Asian Mental Wellness Association and student of environmental public health
Meghana Gorur, president of the Pan-Asian Mental Wellness Association and student of environmental public health

Conquering the socio-cultural barriers that hinder students' mental wellness is no small task, especially when you're working toward your undergraduate degree in public health. But that's the mission Meghana Gorur has taken on as president of the Pan-Asian Mental Wellness Association (PMWA), a student organization at Ohio State that aims to break the stigma surrounding mental health through education, advocacy and dialogue.

Gorur and the founding members of the club began to notice that mental health wasn't being addressedmuch less talked aboutamong their families and friends, and wanted to create a safe space for students to openly discuss mental wellness.  

Sophomore year was the darkest time for me in my entire life,” Gorur said. “I felt like I was alone and had no support system on campus or at home. I want to make sure no student feels like I did sophomore year."

Gorur was elected fundraising chair of the organization her junior year and helped raise money to support the club’s operations. She pitched several event ideas; one of which became an annual event focused on sexual assault awareness called “Now What?” In partnership with the Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio (SARNCO), Unmasked OSU and Title IX, the club was able to host survivors who shared their stories and educated attendees on the qualities of a good ally. 

Her contributions to the organization as fundraising chair led to Gorur being elected president of PMWA for the 2018-2019 school year. The club has hosted several events this semester focused on creating mental health dialogue.

“I want to have done as many collaborations as possible with other organizations during my presidency,” Gorur said. “For me, it is not about the pride of putting on an event by ourselves, it is about spreading the message. By collaborating with other organizations, we can get people interested in mental health that wouldn't normally be interested in it.”  

Gorur said she can relate to other club members through sharing her own experience with mental health. She aims to use her story to encourage others to get help. 

"I want everyone to know that there is a safe space for them. No matter your ethnicity, PMWA can be a home for you.”

 
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About The Ohio State University College of Public Health

The Ohio State University College of Public Health is a leader in educating students, creating new knowledge through research, and improving the livelihoods and well-being of people in Ohio and beyond.  The College’s divisions include biostatistics, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, health behavior and health promotion, and health services management and policy.   It is ranked 19th among all colleges of public health in the U.S. by U.S. News and World Report, and also includes the top 10-ranked MHA degree program.  The College provides leadership and expertise for Ohio and the world through its Center for Health Outcomes, Policy and Evaluation Studies (HOPES), Center for Public Health Practice, and the NCI-funded Center of Excellence in Regulatory Tobacco Science (CERTS).