‘Beat the Blues’ volunteers distribute information, free tacos to students

Lindsay Ibarra (Left), 20, a public health promotion major and Roxanna Peza (Right), 20, a biology major, speak to University Counseling Services. "I had questions about when the Blues Project would be recruiting. I want to help spread awareness and contribute to CSUN and show Matador pride." Hundreds of students visited the fair for 'Beat the Blues' week hosted by the Blues Project on Tuesday. Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez / Photo Editor
Lindsay Ibarra (Left), 20, a public health promotion major and Roxanna Peza (Right), 20, a biology major, speak to University Counseling Services. “I had questions about when the Blues Project would be recruiting. I want to help spread awareness and contribute to CSUN and show Matador pride.” Hundreds of students visited the fair for ‘Beat the Blues’ week hosted by the Blues Project on Tuesday. Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez / Photo Editor

As part of the ongoing “Beat the Blues Week” the Blues Project hosted a tabling fair Tuesday to distribute information about how to deal with factors that may cause depression in students.

“The Blues Project is a program that is here to raise awareness about suicide prevention, depression prevention and awareness,” said Andrea Elzy, coordinator for peer education programs such as The Blues Project, JADE (Joint Advocates on Disordered Eating) and Project Date.

Elzy said that at the tabling event, there were ten different tables and students could go to each table and participate in activities to receive a stamp. Activities were themed around ways to beat the blues.

Other booths that were present during the fair represented programs such as Helpline, University Counseling Services and the Veterans Resource Center.

The Blues project hopes to bring about awareness about depression as well as other mental health issues so that students may learn to manage psychological issues and stress in a healthy way. Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez / Photo Editor
The Blues project hopes to bring about awareness about depression as well as other mental health issues so that students may learn to manage psychological issues and stress in a healthy way. Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez / Photo Editor

“We’re recruiting right now so we have our orientations happening this week for our students wanting to be a part of the program next semester,” said Elzy. “Students get academic credit for being a part of our group, but they also get real life transferable skills.”

Elzy also said most students find out about the counseling services provided on campus for the first time through The Blues Project.

Jennifer Castillejo, YEAR/MAJOR, found herself wanting to be involved with the Blues Project after a class presentation on depression from the program.

“I felt that I could relate to (the program) a lot because I went through a lot of (depression) when I was younger and still every now and then. I really enjoy the project because they talk out to students and they tell them more about what depression really is, and warning signs of depression,” said Castillejo.

As part of “Beat the Blues Week” students were offered free food at the second annual Taco Giveaway stand at Matador Square Tuesday afternoon.

By 1 p.m. nearly 300 students had already stopped by and grabbed a few tacos, according to Elzy. In order to receive free tacos students would walk to Plaza del Sol and visit the 10 information tables dedicated to “Beat the Blues Week.” Once completed, each student would receive stamps that they would show back at the food station.

“Students love free food so we decided to keep it going. It’s a good way to get the message out,” Elzy said when asked why they chose this particular event.

Jasmine Rodriguez, a criminal justice major, initially stopped by just to get food, but soon found the idea of “Beat the Blues Week” interesting, and decided to stick around and get more information from the booths that were set up.

The Blues Project put together a fair for 'Beat the Blues' week at the Plaza Del Sol, USU, on Tuesday. Many health related CSUN organizations participated by tabling at the event. Students who visited the tables at the fair were rewarded with free tacos and Jarritos. Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez / Photo Editor
The Blues Project put together a fair for ‘Beat the Blues’ week at the Plaza Del Sol, USU, on Tuesday. Many health related CSUN organizations participated by tabling at the event. Students who visited the tables at the fair were rewarded with free tacos and Jarritos. Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez / Photo Editor

“If I have time in between my classes, I’ll be back to see what else is going on. I hadn’t heard of this event until a few days ago when I saw a flier on campus promoting it,” Rodriguez said.

To get the message out about “Beat the Blues Week,” fliers were posted around campus and on the CSUN website.

The events are put together by a group of 35-40 students who take both an academic class and participate in a student organization dedicated to spreading awareness.

“Beat the Blues Week” will continue with multiple activities through the end of the week and will end with a poetry slam Thursday evening. For a list of future events check out The Blues Project facebook page or contact the event coordinator at (818) 677-5550.