NU Listens launches series on depression, relationships

Kelli Nguyen, Assistant Campus Editor

NU Listens launched its first “Train Your Brain” speaker and workshop series this month, aiming to educate students on how to support each other’s mental health.

The three-part series explores a trio of topics: active listening, recognizing depression and healthy relationships.

“A lot of us deal with (mental health) a bit ourselves and more of us deal with it indirectly through friends and that can be just as tricky to know what to say or know where to direct your friends,” said Emma Gordon, a Weinberg junior and director of NU Listens. “‘Train Your Brain’ is all about the intersection of those needs.”

Henry Perkins, coordinator of Counseling and Psychological Services’ Stress Management Clinic, will speak Thursday at Norris University Center on recognizing the differences between depression and anxiety.

On May 19, the One Love Foundation, which educates young people about relationship violence, will host a workshop about healthy relationships. This month’s first event, held May 5, featured Jessica Pryor, a fellow at The Family Institute, who discussed active and empathetic listening.

Gordon said the two upcoming events are new this year for NU Listens, which provides an anonymous, confidential phone line for Northwestern students to call. The series is a way to spread the skills taught to NU Listens operators to all students, Gordon said.

“That’s something we are trying to expand into besides just answering phones — allowing others (to become) more equipped to help their friends when we’re not operating,” Gordon said.

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