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More students sought short-term counseling in 2013-2014

The Daily Tar Heel, January 16, 2015


Taylor Swankie is the co-chairwoman of Rethink: Psychiatric Illness, a student group that formed to help educate the campus community about mental health issues.

“It’s something that the University has been concerned about in the past and has pushed for,” she said. “But now that there are student organizations like Rethink and Stigma Free Carolina and Active Minds, there’s more student voice in that conversation.”

"We all support each other"

ADA Legacy Oral History Project, April 29, 2014


In just two years as a Campus Y committee, Rethink has done just that. The program’s success has already made an impact in the lives of numerous UNC students, especially through its student-led sensitization training sessions. Viviana and her team have already trained over 350 UNC students and twenty facilitators to “break away from societal stigma and learn the basics about mental illness…so that they can understand the specific actions to take as advocates .” 

Opinion: Mental Health training should be required of faculty

The Daily Tar Heel, March 18, 2014


It would behoove departments all across campus to interact with groups such as Rethink: Psychiatric Illness, which is developing a training program for faculty

With enrichment fund grants, students 'bring it back'

University Gazette, February 25, 2014


Although society does not encourage people to talk about their anguish, Bonilla-Lopez said, she learned to help people combat their pain and fear – and possibly prevent a tragedy – by doing just that. Because a willingness to talk about suicide can literally mean the difference between life and death, she said, “what I learned was that all I need to do is ask."

Depression in the Southern Part of Heaven

Synapse Magazine, February 10, 2014


Another campus group working to educate students about mental illness is Rethink: Psychiatric Illness. Now in its second year within the Campus Y, Rethink has trained more than 310 people about mental health basics, from stigma to resources to how to be an ally. Co-chairwoman Viviana Bonilla-Lopez said trainings are important because people often turn to friends when they need support, but those friends often don’t know how to help.

Campus groups work to promote mental health

The Daily Tar Heel, October 2013


UNC was part of the national conversation, as Rethink: Psychiatric Illness, Active Minds, UNCWordsmiths, NeuroCare and Sexuality and Gender Alliance collaborated to host events ranging from the Rethink Expression Board to artistic expressions of mental health.

J-school students recognized by UNC for commitment to diversity

UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication, March 2012


A UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication doctoral student and a student organization led by an undergraduate journalism major were recognized with University-wide diversity awards given by the UNC Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.


Viviana Bonilla Lopez, a rising junior in the J-school, will accept a diversity award on behalf of Rethink: Psychiatric Illness, a student organization dedicated to raising awareness and educating others about metal health issues.

College faculty member, student win 2012 University Diversity Awards

UNC-Chapel Hill College of Arts and Sciences, March 2012


Maria DeGuzman, associate professor of English and comparative literature, and Stephanie Nieves-Rios, a sophomore psychology major, are among the winners of the 2012 University Diversity Awards.


DeGuzman is director of Latina/o Studies at UNC and a member of the working group that established the Carolina Latina/o Collaborative (CLC). Nieves-Rios and sophomore journalism major Viviana Bonilla-Lopez established the group “Rethink: Psychiatric Illness” to spread awareness about mental illness.

Rethink: Psychiatric Illness hosts mental health skills training to end stigma

The Daily Tar Heel, March 19, 2012


“The great thing about this training is that they are empowering peers to really reach out to their friends and colleagues,” said Jill Peterfeso, mentor for the Connected Learning Program.

At the training, about 30 participants learned about mental illness and learned skills to work toward combating its stigma.

Viviana Bonilla-Lopez, co-founder of the group, said its purpose is to create an environment where people feel empowered to step forward and speak openly about mental illness.

Mental Health Training Will Create Advocates

The Daily Tar Heel, March 16, 2012


On college campuses, suicide is the second leading cause of death, with untreated depression being the main cause. Yet often without meaning any harm, we alienate those who are going through these challenges by saying things like “Did you take your meds today?” and “This weather is so bipolar.”

This Saturday, 35 UNC students have made a commitment to stopping the stigma and taboo surrounding mental illnesses. Rethink: Psychiatric Illness is UNC’s first ever mental health skills training. Sponsored by the Department of Housing and the Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence, it will take place this Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. at Graham Memorial.

Reassess, Reconnect, Rethink
Blue & White Magazine, February 2012

“Among college students, suicide is the second leading cause of death because of untreated depression,” says Bonilla Lopez. “It’s an issue no one would talk about and we wanted to talk about it. There are a lot of misunderstandings and it can be hard to deal with people who don’t (have knowledge of) psychiatric illnesses (when you have a family member who suffers from one).”

Nieves-Rios says the best way to break the stigma and help those with mental illnesses is by educating people and talking about the issue.


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