The Invisible Tour podcast will narrate stories of mental health struggles and successes shared by campus community

Students, staff and faculty can submit their stories online until tonight, November 15. (Photo by Brandon Marin ’22)

Students, faculty, and staff can now join the discussion of mental health on campus by anonymously submitting their stories for the new Mental Health Invisible Tour. These tours are aimed to provide a more holistic insight on the experiences of students, faculty and staff, and their experiences with mental health at Lafayette.

The tours are meant to be interactive and will utilize technology to enable the largest number of people to participate on their own terms.

“The invisible tour will be a podcast that is downloaded onto your phone, and an invisible tour guide will lead you around campus to places where students experience mental health struggles or successes,” Yazmin Baptiste ’20 explained.

Baptiste was inspired to begin the Invisible Tour at Lafayette after going on an invisible tour while abroad last semester that shared the anonymous stories of immigrants. During this tour, Baptiste learned more about the untold stories of immigrants all over the world and hopes to replicate this on a smaller scale at the college.

She hopes to bridge the gap between students, faculty and staff in order to create a more unified and connected community, as well as facilitate an open discussion about common factors affecting mental health on campus such as staff wages, Greek life, gender identity, being a student of color, intensive athletic schedules, student fitness, and academic performance, Baptiste said.

“By the end of this project, I’m hoping that it starts—at the very least—a discussion. At the most, a culture change to break this cycle of failing to openly discuss these issues. I think we can do it.” 

The Invisible Tour is being created in partnership with The Mental Health Coalition and Kaleidoscope and will be available for download around March of 2020. Narratives will be anonymous and must relate to a particular place on campus. The only identification required is the class year, or if the individual is a staff or faculty member. Submissions are encouraged and can be submitted online until today, November 15.

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