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UO mental health forum bypasses professionals, allows students to help each other

The CCC Student Forum came from an idea by UO student Ram Sharma, and it came in a response to a lack of mental health counselors at the University. (Photo Courtesy of www.cccforum.com)

EUGENE, Ore. - A student at the University of Oregon is creating a mental health forum for students now.

The CCC Student Forum came from an idea by UO student Ram Sharma, and it came in a response to a lack of mental health counselors at the University. The school has recent added mental health professionals, but Ram wanted to find a way for students to talk about their stress and worries in a different way.

Sharma chose three words to make up this forum: Commitment, Compassion and Camaraderie.

"One of the main reasons I started it, of course, I want to help other students with what they're going through," said Sharma.

Sharma says students feel more comfortable expressing their anxiety and stress through social media, and it gives them an opportunity to share with people going through a similar situation.

"With a professional, maybe a student doesn't feel that connection, just because it's a professional," said Sharma. "But when it's student to student, you guys go through the same stuff everyday."

The mental health forum allows students to not only post about their personal struggles, but it also gives tips for other students about self-care. One feature on the forum is called the "Happiness Blog," where students discuss their success conquering mental health obstacles. Sharma says this blog has been very therapeutic for him, and that he knows the difficulties of anxiety all-too well.

"Personally, I've been going through my own mental health obstacles," said Sharma. "Depression and anxiety, I'm not afraid to admit that. I think it's important to have that dialogue and to be open about it."

Even though Sharma is open about it, he still wanted to forge a safe haven for others to ventilate their thoughts and feelings. A key component of the site is that it makes sure comments remain appropriate and are reported in case of an emergency, and through the CCC Student Forum, uniting is a possibility.

If you are interested, you can sign up for the forum with a non-university email at www.thecccforum.com.

Ram says the site will be up and running by late Spring semester.

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