DU community breaks down walls surrounding mental health

By taking these pictures, I attempt to document and bring awareness to mental health on college campuses, specifically the University of Denver. This slideshow links to my issue story as it regards the importance of making mental health part of conversations on-campus. Through it, I attempt to help the viewer visualize campus life and how those struggling with mental health can blend into a crowd. However, I also show the resources available. The most contradictory photograph to this sad concept is the nine out of 10 booth, which features resources for students to reach out to each other and students themselves. 

I talked with and photographed two individuals, Anand Desai and Leisha Chiles, who work to help those in need through the Health and Counseling Center and within the DU Suicide Prevention Project. Also included is senior Claire Whitnah, who sheds light on her personal journey.

Many of these photographs are from an on-campus event called Fresh Check Day. The event was put on to increase awareness about mental health and to help educate and equip students with the resources they need. I chose to photograph Fresh Check Day because it is the Health and Counseling Center’s biggest event of the year and is dedicated to promoting mental wellness. I also chose to photograph various places on campus including the Health and Counseling Center, the walkway to the center, demonstrations in Driscoll Bridge and on the free speech wall to show the support around campus for mental wellbeing.

I noticed during this process that my best photographs were either close-up, wide shots, or from interesting angles. The close up shots felt intimate, the wide shots allows the viewer to set the scene in their mind and interesting angles create a three-dimensional effect or a unique point of view. I tried to include a variety of these photographs as well as include medium shots. Next time, I will be less afraid to get close-up shots of people. I will also take a few more shots to get my final version correct.

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