To Write Love on Her Arms comes to campus

Marie Jeruc

To Write Love On Her Arms, an organization that aims to bring awareness to mental health issues including depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide, will find a permanent presence on campus starting with its chapter kick-off event on April 11.

 This event will provide musical entertainment by folk musician Andy Zipf and conversation and meaningful questions with the organization’s founder, Jamie Tworkowski. In addition, there will be To Write Love On Her Arms merchandise available for purchase.

The event, sponsored by the Psychology Student Association, Counseling Services, Panhellenic Council, Interfraternity Council, Wellness Committee and GlobeMed, is free and open to all members of the Lawrence and Appleton communities. It will take place in the Esch/Hurvis studio at 8:30 p.m. Doors will open at 8:15 p.m.

Following the event, interested attendees can sign up outside the Esch/Hurvis studios for a future informational meeting about the new Lawrence University TWLOHA chapter, which will be led by Gina Torcasso.

Tworkowski stressed that the goal of this event and organization is to “spark conversation” about mental health issues. He “wants people to be able to come and talk about these things, not just for one night but for the rest of their lives.”

Based on his experience working with TWLOHA and people personally affected by mental illness, Tworkowski explains that many people suffering from depression do not often take the first step toward recovery, which is getting help and support.

“Two out of three people who struggle with depression never seek help for it. We hope that our organization and this event will invite people to take the first step in getting the help that they need,” said Tworkowski.

Tworkowski also stressed the importance of music in TWLOHA’s mission. In his first experience helping a friend through drug addiction and self-injury, Tworkowski saw how the power of music served as a crucial element during his friend’s struggle to overcome her mental health issues.

Said Tworkowski, “We like to think of music as a lot more than just a marketing tool. It has the unique ability to remind us that we are alive and that it’s ok to be honest, ask questions and feel things.”

Torcasso, the event coordinator for the Psychology Student Association has been involved with TWLOHA since high school and is responsible for initiating the chapter here at Lawrence.

Said Torcasso, “This organization has expanded so much since it first started in 2006.” TWLOHA now has an international presence and has established 72 University Chapters throughout the United States and Canada.

Torcasso and Tworkowski share the understanding that one of TWLOHA’s main goals is to combat the frequent feelings of isolation that accompany those who suffer from mental illness. Said Torcasso, “Mental illness is not uncommon, but people just feel so alone and there’s no reason that they should feel alone.”

If you are interested in learning more about TWLOHA or joining the Lawrence chapter, contact Torcasso. Visit TWLOHA’s website for more information about its vision, story and the upcoming event at www.twloha.com. 

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