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Tucson Palooza raises awareness for mental health

1 in 4 young adults suffers from mental health
Posted at 1:45 PM, May 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-05 16:57:29-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — With the help of the community, the University of Arizona's mental health program, Camp Wellness, helped shed a light for students who are struggling internally. The annual Tucson Palooza event emphasized that the topic of mental health, is one that should be accessible and non-threatening for everyone.

"You're not alone, and there's things that we can do to help, there's things you can do to help," said Cheryl Glass, MD, Director of mental health and awareness at U of A. She adds, "We look at the whole picture to work with you and figure out whats going to help you best."

The idea of Tucson Palooza is to help students feel relaxed in a family oriented setting. This year Mental Health America wanted to stress the value of animals. Rural Metro firefighter Kari Spanarella says if mental health is taking over portions of your life, a therapy dog could be the perfect medicine.

"What they have found with service animals is they help release that oxytocin and serotonin which helps us bring back down our heart rate and our anxiety," Spanarella said. "It allows us to rest and just relax and get back in to a normal state."

If a fury friend isn't available, organizers say it's important to continue to get social connections by enjoying the outdoors, eating out and talking with someone you feel comfortable with. To help students control their negative feelings, those at Tucson Palooza say a key to success is thinking positive.

"It's not forever it's going to get better, we want students to use the words right now," Glass explained. "Things are going to work out so just practice saying right now."