Ram Sharma is a sophomore at the UO studying political science, working as the ASUO election commissioner and is also developing an online forum for UO students who are dealing with mental health issues. It is called The Commitment, Compassion and Camaraderie student forum and features a forum where users can post about their mental health issues.
“I just wanted to create this mental health forum to give students a way to be able to connect with each other in a supportive and empowering type of environment,” said Sharma.
Sharma says he came up with the idea after noticing that due to the influx of students seeking help at the UO counseling center students would have wait times for treatment. Some students dealing with mental health issues are too afraid to seek help, according to Sharma.
The site has eight moderators to monitor the site and his goal is to have a total of 25. The moderators would be able to delete comments from trolls and block them from further using the site. Also, they would be responsible for reporting those who would be a danger to themselves or others to the police or the UO Dean of Students.
“I think a lot of students will know this place is for support and empowerment and to make each other feel positive and safe. It’s not to put each other down,” said Sharma.
Sharma has been dealing with mental health issues since he was a senior in high school. He deals with anxiety and depression.
“I am very self-critical. I am very ambitious and things like that so when things don’t go right for me. I self-criticise the shit out of myself,” said Sharma. “It’s just very unhealthy and it brings me down.”
The site also features a “happiness blog” that will post biweekly and have self-care tips and promote positivity. The blog will be run by the student moderators and will also have photo and video sections that cover similar topics.
In order to use the site, you will need to create an account using an email address and password. Though the site is meant to be exclusively for UO students there is no way for Sharma to ensure that users are actually students and the University.
The forum and blog are not yet available for use but the site is accessible and includes information about the purpose of the site. The forum and blog will be available sometime during spring term.
“I just hope it can help students with whatever they are going through, it doesn’t have to be a mental health obstacle it can be just everyday stress or just finals or a sucky professor they want to vent about.” Said Sharma.