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Will There Be Food

Podcast Episode 7

Mental Health and Higher Ed

Mental Health and Higher Education

Happy World Mental Health Day! While today celebrates the efforts of folx raising awareness of mental health issues around the world, how are we prioritizing mental health for students year-round? This week, we chat with Dr. Erin Robinson about what SA pros can do to help eliminate stigma and normalize the mental health conversations on their campuses.

Meet the guests
Dr. Erin Robinson
Ringling College of Art and Design
Associate Dean of Students and Director of Health Services
Have A Listen

Transcript

Meg: Hey y’all, I’m Meg Sunga and welcome to “Will There Be Food?”, The student affairs podcast that, like your job, is so much more than free pizza. Every week we get to explore a new topic in higher ed with humans in the industry.

Meg: It’s World Mental Health Day and we can all agree: student affairs is stressful AF. For starters, you got students stressed out about all kinds of things: Grades, graduation, not knowing what they want to major in, not knowing if their long distance relationships are gonna work out, and whether or not their financial aid is going to go through. Those stressors are just the tip of the iceberg. And then you have you: an SA pro probably stressed about similar things, except maybe grades and graduation… unless you’re a doc or MBA program student, in which case you might need a mental health day ASAP.

Meg: Our next guest is Dr. Erin Robinson. Erin is the associate dean of students and director of health services at Ringling College of Art and Design. Hello and welcome Erin.

Erin: Thank you, Meg. Hello.

Meg: How are you doing today?

Erin: I am great.

Meg: Now, Erin, we’re going to kick off with our first question of what does mental health look like on today’s campuses?

Erin: That’s a really complicated first question.

Meg: [Laughing] Sorry.

Erin: Mental health on campuses today is increasingly diverse and complex. Um, I think especially people don’t understand student life to begin with. And then, you know, you ask them “What do you do?” And that’s a really hard question to answer because people assume, even in college counseling. That it’s about breakups or stress with classes. And while it is all those things — grades and graduation and relationships and financial aid and family back home — it’s also longstanding mental health, neurodiversity, intersecting identities, and facing discrimination and harassment and how that affects mental health. So it’s just a really complex kind of soup of everything that we’re dealing with today. And that can be really overwhelming. And then on top of that, having services to recognize, label, and then help strategize, you know, ways to prevent mental health from becoming out of control.

Meg: Absolutely. So I was just… When I said I was scratching the tip of the iceberg, it was really just the tip of iceberg.

Erin: Yeah.

Meg: Okay. Oh, I liked how you called it – it’s soup. There’s different things in this soup.

Erin: It is soup, for sure.

Meg: Erin, let’s talk about those items in the soup. Um, a little bit of biological factors. What does that look like when you, when you mentioned that?

Erin: So that can be anything from longstanding depression, anxiety, how a student or a human responds to stress or trauma. Longstanding traumas can actually change your brain chemistry and how your neurons work with each other. And then as institutions have developed over time and we’ve become more inclusive and able to provide accommodations, students who haven’t had the opportunity to come into higher education — such as, you know, students on the spectrum or with different neurodiversity issues — are now on college campuses as well. And that’s absolutely beautiful. And it also, you know, is upon us to make sure that we’re doing our due diligence and giving those students a really good opportunity and experience.

Meg: And you mentioned different life experiences, such as trauma and abuse. What does that look like?

Erin: It doesn’t look like one thing. It can look like a lot of different things for different students.

Erin: So, you have some students who might have had very similar experiences with different support systems, resiliency factors, um, support or coping mechanisms in place in their young life. And so you could have student A and student B, and student A comes to college and they thrive and student B comes to college and they really struggle.

Erin: And so part of that is giving student B those opportunities and that support to then thrive, too. So it doesn’t mean that that student can’t be really successful. It just means that, you know, they need to maybe have some more support services around them or understanding.

Meg: Erin, I’m curious: Does mental health look different now than what, you know, was five, 10, even 20 years ago?

Erin: Absolutely. Um, so I’m sure you know yourself and a lot of the listeners have been embedded in conversations about how there’s more mental health on campuses or more significant mental health across college campuses.

Erin: And part of that is from my perspective, that students have access to information earlier in life and they have greater access to information. So they’re able to have this increased language and understanding of themselves that 10 years ago they might not have. 20 years ago, certainly not. And so they’re coming to campus more informed, maybe already have been engaged in services and able to say, “Hey, this thing that I’m experiencing, I can now put a definition to or I can put a label on, instead of just feeling different” or someone saying, “Oh, you’re fine. Everyone experiences that. Just deal with it.” Where a really positive aspect of our generation now is that’s not good enough. And you know, there’s a community accountability rather than just putting it back on the individual.

Meg: I like that this current generation and the younger ones, obviously the ones coming to college, I think there is more of an openness to be like, “yeah, these are the things I’m dealing with” and people are like, “I hear you and I see you.” And, and it’s very affirming in that, you know, we are not shy from those conversations, but I still think that there is some stigma that exists around mental health.

Erin: Absolutely.

Meg: And I want to dig into that. Yeah. What stigmas still exists in these conversations on campus?

Erin: Unfortunately, I think there is a lot of stigma that is present. As human beings, we like to understand things, label them in these really, you know, well laid out boxes. You go in box A, you go in box B, you go back C, and when someone doesn’t fit that label it feels different. And people aren’t comfortable with different, you know, it’s kind of labeled as you’re different from me, so you’re automatically bad because I don’t understand you. And that’s where that stigma comes from. Or a student who is depressed and really having trouble, say, getting out of bed for class in the morning gets labeled as lazy rather than struggling with a symptom of a mental health condition. And so then, you know, that teacher or that other staff member on campus sees them as, you know, quote unquote “lazy” or “bad” rather than someone who’s dealing with something. Um, I’ve also noticed that there’s, especially on our campus specifically, there is less stigma for other people… and more personal stigma. So, it’s that idea of, “Hey, I really want to support you. You know, we have this great counseling center on campus. I’ll walk you over. I want you to get support.” And then they look at themselves and say, but I’m okay, I don’t need it.

Erin: So there’s a duality there for sure.

Meg: It’s so interesting how …and this is not just for student affairs, but definitely rampant in affairs because we’re helpers. You know, a lot of us want to do good and give back to our students. It’s why a lot of us are in the field and yet, you know, we’re providing, you know, counseling services and therapy as, as resources for our students. And yet, you know, a lot of us might need that, too.

Erin: Absolutely.

Meg: So it’s it’s tough. It’s tough. Why do you think that is? That we aren’t able to see that for ourselves?

Erin: I think that’s a really profound question. Um, you know, we’re really good at not practicing what we preach for sure. And I think a lot of times, we have a fallacy of an expectation that we’re supposed to be the expert on campus in student affairs and in counseling. And because of that, we can’t be people ourselves or be struggling. Um, and so as helpers, oftentimes it’s this really great defense mechanism to look outward and help others instead of looking at ourselves. Um, and that can be really overwhelming. And we talk about burnout and that’s a huge piece of it is unless you’re, you know, taking that mental health day, going to therapy, working out, actually getting to sleep at a decent hour when you’re not on call. All of those things are super important to be able to actually be an effective helper to others.

Meg: Mmm, I feel seen. [laughs].

Erin: [Laughs] I’m so happy.

Meg: It’s that feeling of “She’s talking about me, she’s talking about me. Oh my gosh, she’s talking about me.” [laughs] I’m having these moments a lot in these interviews and I’m just like “Up nope, that’s me. So I’m glad. Hopefully someone listening to this show is going to also feel like that was for them.

Erin: Yes! Oh boy.

Meg: Erin, but I do want to talk to you in regards to, um, marginalized students. You’d mentioned that intersecting identities definitely plays into people’s mental health.

Erin: Yes.

Meg: What marginalized populations do you work with, currently at Ringling?

Erin: We’re really fortunate to have a really diverse community. And so marginalized populations vary so much. So we work with students, you know, from different countries of origin who are first generation, who, you know, are, have a marginalized race or ethnicity, diverse abilities, sexual orientation, gender identity. At my school we have a pretty significant population of gender expansive student and transgender students. And so we really, you know, focus on making sure that they have community and the ability to get support in our counseling center, as well as our students of color because they are a marginalized group on our campus. And so they have to face, you know, microaggressions and difficulties each day that myself as a white cis woman has the privilege of not having to think about on a daily basis. And so while our staff is predominantly Caucasian, we try to have those conversations as far as like, “Hey, I get that. I’m this white lady sitting with you talking to, so let’s just like put that out there and have that conversation of what that experience is like for you.”

Meg: I love that. I love that you and your team are going to call it like it is. Cause I think that is so important when handling each person’s very difficult and very delicate, unique experience to each student.

Erin: Absolutely.

Meg: So I love that. I was actually going to ask — so your office is mostly, um, predominantly white when it comes to the staff members that work on your team. Is that happening everywhere. Do you feel like there is a lack of representation in the mental health field?

Erin: In general, I think there is. We are a field of mostly cis-identifying women. So, you know, you think about men and that’s kind of a marginalized aspect of our therapy realm and that um, you know, sometimes people need and want a male-identifying therapist to talk to and that can be hard to find. But, in general, it is. It’s a struggle to find therapists who are trans or are a person of color and it’s a real gift when we can encompass someone on our staff that can relate to students based on particular identities or past experiences. And also not to assume that just because you’re Latinx and you see a lot a Latinx student that you’re going to connect based on your heritage or culture. So I think, you know, it’s not, it’s also about just finding a really good fit and understanding between individuals, too.

Meg: Absolutely. I’ve always said to my students, and this is, you know, a term that’s used with a lot of folks in marginalized spaces is that: skin folk doesn’t always mean kinfolk. And just because they look like you, doesn’t mean they have the same lived experiences as you. Um, and so I know that a lot of listeners out there will appreciate that because you can find support anywhere… And definitely therapy and counseling like you mentioned, um, those people may not have those identities but can still provide that support.

Erin: While I’m using examples of the counseling center, mental health on campuses is a community issue though. It’s not just the counseling center. It is student life and student affairs. It is the faculty. It is facilities. It’s anyone whom a student can find a connection with and a mentorship with. And then as a community, it’s our obligation to have those conversations around mental health literacy, so that as a community, we know how to refer a student to resources, how to ask difficult questions about safety and thoughts of suicide and then connecting those students appropriately. And that’s not just the counseling center or a student life responsibility. It’s everyone.

Meg: Yes, that buy-in has to be campus-wide. I know how exhausting it can be as a former live-on professional to feel like, okay, I’m the only one, or sometimes I feel like I’m the only one that is doing this work, you know? And to be in a space to know that there’s colleagues elsewhere that can help shoulder some of that work will ultimately feel great, you know, just relief. So it absolutely has to fall on other people. And I want to shout that out for you. Is that, that key that is so key and so important, um, to the work that people need to do. I love that. Erin, I want to circle back on something you’d mentioned in regards to the particular student group that you do work with. In regards to the LGBTQ_ community, what are some unique mental health concerns that they might be bringing into this space?

Erin: Again, it’s complicated. So with this very diverse population under the LGBT umbrella, you have, you know, experiences of compartmentalization. So you know, someone severely, firmly ingrained in their identity, but maybe they don’t feel safe or empowered to be out at home or be out at school or they’re out with some people but not others. And so they have to just kind of fragment their lives into these different areas. And then you have alienation, where maybe like you’re not coming out to some people because you know they’ll reject you or you have come out and you thought you would be supported, let’s say for example, by your family and you weren’t. And then you have, you know, alienation, rejection, dealing with harassment and discrimination. So all of those things, big experiences or those small kind of daily microaggressions, pile on top of each other and can create significant anxiety, social anxiety, PTSD for those who have had some really traumatic experiences that are continuing to haunt them and affect their daily living.

Erin: And then, you know, depression. And unfortunately, with our trans population, suicide is seven times greater in our transgender population than it is in the national population. And that’s so tragic, and needs to… Needs to change quickly.

Meg: Oh, that number is unfathomable of how high that is.

Erin: It really is. And it’s very scary. The national discrimination survey in 2015 came out and said that 41% of the transgender population over their lifetime will die by suicide. And that, just like, the gravity of that really just stops you in place. And my hope is with more dialogue and understanding and generations coming up that are just, you know, embracing people as people and individuals rather than labels, um, that those rates are going to drastically fall — would be my hope, my aspiration. But I see that even just year to year in school with, you know, just students being more open and accepting and understanding of diversity and the beauty in that rather than seeing it as different… as a bad thing.

Meg: Erin, what can student affairs professionals and even academic affairs — really just anyone that works on campus and works with students — what can they do to help students struggling or dealing with mental illness?

Erin: I think the biggest thing people can do is just ask how someone is. So a lot of times students will disclose a situation, a stressor or something that’s going on that, you know, that’s pretty prolific in their life at the moment. And sometimes we don’t want to be nosy or pry or overstep our boundaries. And so we don’t ask. And I think that’s our biggest failing. I would always rather have someone ask and me say like, “Noo, I’m good” or “I don’t want to talk about it.” Or “Thanks for asking.”

Meg: Right.

Erin: But if you don’t ask, you don’t have that opportunity to make a connection or that increases the stigma around mental health. So if someone discloses to you like, “Yeah, I’ve been dealing with depression,” it’s okay to be like, “Hey, how’s your depression today?” And it normalizes it as like, “Hey, how’s your mental health?” And that, that shouldn’t be a question to only ask behind closed doors, but it’s just a normal like, “Hey, how are you doing? Just checking on you” And that’s not their whole identity either. They’re not their depression but you’re just checking in.

Meg: Huh. And you know, it’s interesting. I wouldn’t think I would’ve ever thought to just casually say it like that. I think I… whenever I would talk to students who I knew, you know, had depression or anxiety, I’d be like, all right, I’m going to have to, you know, I’m asking a hard question now. Like “How are you with the X, Y and Z?” And I felt like maybe I was putting a little bit more emphasis on it and a little bit more weight. Maybe I should not… I shouldn’t have, shouldn’t have done that is, what you’re saying?

Erin: I think both are are good and necessary strategies.

Meg: Okay.

Erin: And I think that a lot of times, our students are stronger than sometimes we give them credit for. So they’ve been through so much to get to college and their resilience isn’t something, you know, it’s kind of like bravado, like people don’t really talk about how resilient they are and how they’ve gotten through life or they just take that as a granted, like “it’s something I had to do” but they did it. And so part of that is I think we hold mental health as this very fragile piece of people’s identities rather than, you know, it’s just a part of someone’s identity and everyone is going to go through some kind of mental health in their lifetime, whether it be stress or grief or major depression or bipolar disorder. It varies, you know, in degrees. But it’s something we can all relate to and it’s worth just, you know, being able to ask about and normalize that conversation.

Meg: Erin, I… whenever I introduce myself to students, whether that’s at a conference or, you know, small group workshop, whatever, try to do, “My name is Meg. I’m bisexual, I’m Filipino, I’m all of -” you know, my identifiers. And then I will disclose, I suffer from depression and anxiety. And I find that students will, after whatever session we just did, we’ll come up to me and say “Thank you. I, too, deal with these things.” So basically I’m trying to role model that it is something that I deal with. Therefore it’s safe to talk about it if they want to, but they don’t have to. Is that a way that student affairs professionals can role model that normalization or is there other ways that they can do it as well?

Erin: I think that’s really amazing and important to do and brave of you. So I commend you for doing that honestly because too, you know, that’s, that’s putting a human face to who you are. And in today, like we are accustomed to being open to sharing our pronouns or our gender identity or oursexual orientation or our race or ethnicity or culture. But that mental health piece is still taboo and it’s just the salient as any other identity. Yet, it’s one that, people are scared to express outwardly. And so that’s a fantastic way to model like, “Hey, this is who I am and you know, I’m just letting you know and it’s not something I’m ashamed of.” And I think that shame piece and taking shame out of identities is really important.

Meg: Let us not shame each other anymore.

Erin: Yes.

Meg: Intentionally or unintentionally. Just stop! Um, Erin, I know that one of our,… I was in Res Life, I did a lot of QPR training and then my own therapy and then whatever work in collaboration with different programs, with counseling. And that’s the extent of what I remember as like training resources for SA pros. Is there other things that exist that I missed?

Erin: Out of training out there? A lot of the training is really going towards mental health literacy. So the idea of recognizing just signs and symptoms and knowing how to talk about them, even if you’re not comfortable or you don’t have to go in depth about talking about different things. But there’s, I mean there’s so much training that can be done from, you know, tens and tens and tens, hundreds of trainings on suicide awareness. Mental health first aid. A lot of the states-based training, you know, can have a mental health piece to it, which is really important. So it’s really finding, you know, what an institution is willing to look at and buy in for a community. And then, particularly, if there’s a field or interests that anyone has, you can find trainings: Webinars, podcasts, books. So there’s always opportunities to find ways to educate yourself and also be more educated about yourself, too. It’s always changing. And so if someone is using, you know, the same training or same philosophy that they were 10 years ago, it’s time to update that Rolodex. Even though we don’t have Rolodexes now, we did 10 years ago.

Meg: I was like, “She used the most outdated example.” It’s fine. It’s fine. [Laughs] I Love it. Oh, we’re going to leave that in there. Oh my gosh. I will… I do have a question, and this is just a personal one, because I’ve had it just recently. A student emailed me this past week. We had connected at a conference and she, similar situation, I had disclosed my, you know, depression, anxiety, she disclosed that she also suffers that and she’s like, “I’ve never been to the counseling center. I don’t know what that experience looks like. Do you have any tips, tricks, advice?” Kind of stuff. And I told her that the best advice that I could give her is to go there and just talk to someone about what the process looks like even before signing up for your first session or the intake session, just so that she can ask her questions pretty casually, you know, with, with no stake, high-stakes there. Was that good advice? I’m not sure if that was the right advice or not.

Erin: Absolutely. So I think being able to go into a center, be told exactly what’s going to happen, how the process works, what to expect is absolutely appropriate for a student to be able to expect. It’s also really helpful. A lot of times, like in our RA training, we will say, “Hey, come to the center, we’re going to walk you through the process so that you know, when you’re working with this student exactly what that is.” Or if you’re a client of ours and a student is asking about the center and you’re comfortable, it’d be really helpful to tell them exactly what that experience is like. And it’s scary to go to counseling for the first time and sit down with a stranger and for that person to be like “Okay, I’m going to ask you super personal questions and I want you to tell me your deepest, darkest secrets.” That’s pretty intimidating. So anything to take that edge off and connect with someone who’s gone through it or just to go into this space or, to talk to your counseling centers about “Hey, can we have open houses for students to come in and be able to walk around, talk to people, just be familiar with, with the space there?” Something we do at Ringling is every month, we invite therapy dogs to campus and we particularly do that in our health center front lawn. So that a students who might not ever come over to our building, come in, have a really positive experience, not only with the puppies but also with the humans around. And so, that interaction creates a foundation for them to be like “Okay, it’s not so scary. I feel like I could come back in and get some more information at a different time. “

Meg: Strange how puppies will do that and disarm students.

Erin: Right? [laughs]

Meg: Shout out to any school doing puppies on campus or therapy dogs. Ah, I would come all the time!

Erin: Right? There’s no self motivation there at all, I promise.

Meg: Love it. Erin, just really quick, and this can be just some brief things. I want to make sure we capture this for anybody listening because mental health isn’t always salient as an identity. What are some warning signs that indicate someone is struggling with their mental health?

Erin: So warning signs are really just seeing a change in how someone normally functions. And so really, as you have touchpoints with your student and you get to know them or kind of their pattern, you know what’s normal for them. So if that changes in any way, it might not be a sign or symptom of a greater mental health issue, but certainly a sign or symptom that something’s off with them. And even just having that touchpoint of saying, “Hey, how are you today? I noticed, you know, this. It gives the student time to reflect, to say, “Is this situational or is this something deeper that I want to look at further?” And to talk to students about the behavior that you see, not give it a label, right? So you’re not gonna walk up to a student and be like, “Hey, you seem really depressed.” Maybe it’s like, “Hey, I’ve noticed that you’re not going to dinner with your roommate anymore and I haven’t seen you around and you’ve missed a couple of classes. Is everything okay?” Because it might be that they are depressed. It might be that they’re really overwhelmed and need a bridge to a different resource on campus, help with time management or something else. It could be that there are issues going on at home that they, you know, are witnessing but can’t help with. And that can be a really vulnerable place to be of just sitting and watching and not being able to do anything. So there’s a thousand different reasons of what could be going on and it’s just opening up that door to allow a student the opportunity to share what that might be.

Meg: Thank you. I appreciate it. Erin, I know we’ve talked a little bit about students. I do want to ask maybe one or two questions about how we can help our staff, our student affairs professional friends out there who might be listening on this world mental health today. What are ways that affairs professionals can take better care of their own mental health?

Erin: Doing the things that we tell students to do. Going back to the basics, eating well, finding time to get outside to exercise, to go to sleep at a reasonable hour. That can be hard sometimes. And part of that is knowing it’s okay to set boundaries and to say “no.” That student life, in general, like, we’re a bunch of people pleasers, and that can be problematic at times because we have trouble saying no to things. Um, and so really taking that opportunity to just like stop and reflect and ask yourself if you have the energy or the time to do that thing that’s being asked of you at the moment. Or if you can say like, “Hey, because I really want to be present for you and I want to do a good job, I’m going to have to decline right now,” or “I’ll be available in two days”, whatever that is. So that you’re not, you’re not burning out, you’re not putting your mental health on the back burner instead of making it a priority. And other people will appreciate that and respect, respect individuals for being able to set those boundaries.

Meg: I love that we just called all of student affairs people pleasers. [Laughs] Because we are. We absolutely are. And it’s hard. It’s so hard because not only are you trying to take care of your students and the people that are your direct reports and people below you, but you’re also managing from above and there’s all kinds of expectations getting thrown at you. But hopefully we are in a space — hopefully people have space to talk about mental health and when they need to take a day for themselves. Do you feel like student affairs is that though?

Erin: Yes, when you can be open with your team, and collaboratively have those conversations about the importance of mental health and self-care so that, you know, when you’re not on call or if you take those vacation days or sick days, that that’s your time and that the expectation is that your team’s not going to be continually relying on you when you’re physically not there. Or knowing that, you know, if you say like, “Hey, I’ve had a really rough day, or I was on call and dealt with, you know, a pretty significant situation and I need time to like reflect and figure out what that interaction meant for me, that you will have a team around you that will be like, “Yep, I got you. I’ll cover, you know, on call for the next five hours while you sleep. Or you go take a shower and relax.” But that’s also creating a community in each of your teams to be able to have those honest conversations where reflecting on where you are with your mental health and what your needs are, it’s not judged. It’s embraced. And if you can’t do that with each other, then it’s, you really can’t do that with your students either. And it’s probably harder with each other, too, because then it’s like, I’m showing you a vulnerability or I don’t want you to see me as weak or incapable of doing my job. And so we tend to take on more than we can and then we get overwhelmed.

Meg: Absolutely. I think, yeah, like you said, it, it takes communication, open communication from the top. And if you’re willing to do it at the top, then your students will also be willing to do it with you. We’ll see if we can, we can pull that off. I would hope that. I hope that that would be a trend that that catches on for sure.

Erin: And it takes time, right? But it’s those ripple effects of if you’re taking care of yourself, that’s noticeable and then students can see that and appreciate that and use those strategies, too.

Meg: Erin, any last mental health reminders, advice for any SA pro listening to this episode today?

Erin: I would just say everyone has a story and a path and experiences. And sometimes, in a very fast pace environment and having several students that you’re responsible for, those individual stories get lost. Or we start to kind of group students together as like, “Oh, they’re just this, you know, they’re using substances or they’re, you know, here for conduct again.” But there’s always reasons behind that. And a lot of times there some mental health aspect to a behavior. And so, taking the time to be like, “Help me understand like about this choice that you made” or “What’s going on?” or “How are you feeling about this being your last year on campus?” We also have assumptions that students will be happy to graduate or they’re ready to go home for winter break. And for some people where school has become their home, has become their hermitage, it’s really devastating. And without talking to them and kind of understanding where, where they are, that can be lost and we just see an outcome of a behavior rather than who they really are. So talk, talk to each other, talk to your students. Just be open to have conversations.

Meg: Very small aside: I watch a show called Steven Universe.

Erin: Yes, I know that show. [laughs]

Meg: Okay, great. So for anyone who watches Steven Universe, Steven solves every single problem on every single episode with open communication. It has nothing to do with his powers. It has nothing to do with like the badassary of his team. It literally is just the fact that he can have these conversations. And I think that’s essentially the main thing with, when it comes to mental health is, “Can we just have the conversation?” And I think that is so powerful to advocate for. And I want to thank you for advocating for that, for both professional staff and students. So, thank you.

Erin: Absolutely, thank you!

Meg: Erin, I had a pleasure talking with you today. It’s been awesome getting to know what you do and how you do it at Ringling and how we can help student affairs professionals do their mental health care better for their students. So thank you again for everything.

Erin: Yeah, I appreciate it. I think this podcast is awesome and really needed — just that, you know, have a space for people to come, you know, be seen, be heard, be able to connect with stories or people or experiences. So this is a really powerful foundation and I really appreciate you doing it.

Meg: Aww, thank you. Our guests are so kind!

Meg: You’ve been listening to “Will There Be Food?” with me, Meg Sunga. You can follow “Will There Be Food” at @HelloPresence on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for episode transcripts and show notes. Head to presence.io/podcast. Don’t forget to rate us, subscribe, and share with all the friends and let us know what topics you want us to cover next. “Will There Be Food?”is a production of Presence. It’s hosted by me, Meg Sunga. The show is directed, edited, and mixed by our producer, Luke Burton. Our executive producer is Cassandra. Corrado.

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