Jamie Tworkowski, founder of To Write Love on Her Arms, came to campus last Wednesday to discuss his nonprofit organization that helps people who suffer from mental illness.
The organization aims to erase the negative stigma of depression and also to lend support to those suffering from self-inflicted harm and addiction. The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is starting its own chapter of this organization.
The event started with slam poetry artist Sierra DeMulder reciting her poems. In her poems, she covered subjects such as depression and anorexia. Following her thought-provoking performance, Tworkowski took the stage to tell the story behind his organization.
“I think the organization is important because it’s bringing attention to a taboo subject,” said sophomore English and philosophy major Kelly Krill.
Throughout his presentation Tworkowski mentioned that his organization wants people to talk about issues considered taboo. He was inspired to draw attention to these issues after seeing a friend struggle.
Tworkowski said the rganization’s title comes from the hateful words his friend carved on her arms. His friend suffered from depression and addiction. After witnessing her struggle, he made it his goal to help her write love on her arms.
“I think the organization is amazing,” said sophomore arts management major Lauren Jenquin. “It is a great source for those who are struggling.”
Jenquin first found out about the organization through Myspace in 2008. She felt compelled to attend the event because she thinks the organization is inspiring.
Some students attended the event for more personal reasons.
“I was able to relate to some of the topics that the Tworkowski touched on,” said sophomore criminal justice major GaNou Yang.
Yang enjoyed hearing the story behind the organization as well as the number of people that depression affects.
“I do not know a lot of people that suffer from depression, and it made me realize that it is more common than I expected,” Yang said.
Tworkowski wants his organization to be an outlet people can use to talk about their issues and help prevent people from feeling alone.
He hopes that speaking at schools all over the world will help bring light to subjects that have been in the dark for so long. Getting people to talk about their problems and seek help is the first step to writing love on their arms.