Ozomatli takes part in mental health panel

took part in a mental health panel last Thursday at Cerritos College.The congresswoman spoke about the Mental Health in Schools Act, which provides funding for mental health services at schools. "The mental health needs of our young people are not being met," Napolitano said. "Too many students lack access to mental health services and struggle with their issues alone. Studies show that professional mental health assistance can help our students feel happier, stay on track in school and avoid the serious problems that can arise when issues go untreated. We must invest in mental health services to help the next generation meet their full potential." Ozomatli credits group therapy for much of the success they have experienced over their 15-year career. Band members Raul Pacheco and Ulises Bella encouraged students to seek mental health care if needed and urged kids not to be ashamed or embarrassed to ask for help. Student panelist Laura Munro shared her experiences with "mentally tough times." She co-founded a student peer support group, Active Minds, that help students with mental health issues. "I want to help other students realize that there are people who want to help and will help them, that there's hope for a life besides the mental illness, and that doesn't have to dictate your life," said Munro. Munro is a psychology major and is now on the dean's list and president's list. The panel also discussed mental health resources available on campus as well as community resources, and the college's Mental Health Worker Program. "Good mental health helps us with relationships, with family and friends, and allows us to focus and do our work," said Samantha Shepherd, president of Active Minds.

********** Published: November 24, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 32