By Kristen Lacuesta, Clarion News Editor
Published: Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Courtesy of Citrus College
Citrus College psychology professor James Skalicky, along with the students of the psychology club are putting on the first mental health celebration on campus on May 19 in the Ross L. Handy Campus Center,
The first mental health celebration will be held today, May 19, in the quad outside of the Ross L. Handy Campus Center.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and also marks the 10-year anniversary of the psychology of religion course at Citrus College.
James Skalicky, the psychology of religion instructor at Citrus and chairman for Mental Health America, thought blending the two events would be interesting and help address the significance of the mind, body and spirit.
Skalicky and students enrolled in his psychology of religion class will begin the event with the releasing of 10 white doves.
The doves will represent the number of years the course has been offered and also symbolize peace, harmony and tolerance for the different religions.
After releasing the doves, dean of social and behavioral science Michael Hurtado will give the opening words.
Other speakers for the event will be Citrus College crisis counselor Steve Avalos, chiropractor Dr. Mark Dederichs, attorney William Sayegh and Skalicky.
“I will be discussing body and mind medicine as well as spirituality,” Dederichs said.
The first-time celebration is happening because being chairman for Mental Health America has made Skalicky more active.
“We’re losing so many classes, and I’m just trying to underscore the importance of this class,” Skalicky said. “It has far-reaching implications in terms of attracting a large amount of international students. Most don’t know about Western culture and learning about religion is a good way to learn about that.”
“This celebration is a way to emphasize the significance of a class that is looking at culture, individual and psychological differences, and how people can share and look for basic principles,” Skalicky said.
The psychology of religion course is believed to be the only class offered of its nature at a community college level.
Many students enrolled in the class have benefited and said the class has made them more tolerant to differences.
“The class has made me more curious and more interested in different religions,” student Andrew Campbell said. “It’s given me a broader view of spiritual teachings.”
Skalicky hopes this year’s event will be a success and, if so, plans to make it an annual celebration on campus.
“I was thinking it would be great next year if I could plan a dialogue with a Buddhist or Christian or Jewish Rabbi,” Skalicky said.
Psychology and religion can be healing forces is the message that Skalicky hopes the event will emphasize.
The event will begin at 1:30 p.m. today near the fountain in the center of the Citrus College campus.
|Citrus College psychology professor James Skalicky, along with the students of the psychology club are putting on the first mental health celebration on campus on May 19, 2010 in the Ross L. Handy Campus Center,|