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To Write Love On Her Arms Looking To Expand UChapters

Many people connect To Write Love On Her Arms as a trend, associated with music, that grew out of the ever-present black and white t-shirts that could be spotted at virtually every concert. TWLOHA, as it is also known, is not a trend. TWLOHA is a movement to establish conversation about mental health in a society that keeps issues and disorders as quiet as they can.

The new way the non-profit organization is looking to expand is to establish UChapters, or student-run groups, on college and university campuses across the United States and Canada. The coalition began in the fall of 2009 with the simple goal of spreading the mission statement to the student body. “We exist to present hope and find help for people struggling with addiction, depression, self-injury, thoughts of suicide; we exist to inspire, encourage, inform, and to invest, financially, into treatment and recovery,” as Denny Kolsch, director of UChapters, put it. If you have taken the route that led you to further your education, chances are your school had a help line (emergency line) for students to call if they needed someone to speak to about life issues. However, reaching out for help is a sometimes difficult task that faces those who are in need of it. To Write Love On Her Arms’ UChapters is looking to help people make that first step, whether it is to a councelor or to a treatment center.

Like every organization that is founded at an educational institution, creating and finding a financial source is important to solidify the future of the groups existence. Kolsch admitted since the UChapter program is so new, that at this point, it is funded purely through fund raising at each school. The idea is to invest in treatment and recovery for those who need it.

If you were not fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend a meeting during Kolsch’s speaking tour, Marti found out how you can still become involved; it’s not too late! If your school does not currently have a TWLOHA Uchapter, you should begin by e-mailing to express your interest. The only qualifications are that you must be a student at the school in which you are trying to establish the chapter, and that you abide all school policies. Before you can actually get the club up and rolling, it is a requirement to go to a training conference or to go to one of TWLOHA’s MOVE community conferences. This is designed to show those interested, the dialogue of the national organization. After you contact them, they will then direct you to the information regarding the next MOVE community conference. The seminars feature “UChapter break outs,” which Kolsch leads the discussion on. This is where all of the information is given that you need to take the next step in the founding of the club at your school.

With having only two semesters of actual existence, there are already 24-25 UChapters that have been established throughout the United States and Canada. Kolsh easily admits, “We’re in a position where we want to be intentional and careful about the number of chapters we start up. There’s a large response from students who are at a college or university and they want to be involved with TWLOHA. Each term we’ll launch about 10 to 15. We don’t know where it’ll end up going. We’re just taking it term by term, because it is such a brand new program. After each term we’ll evaluate and decide how many more can we launch with it still being managed well.”

We [Stardust] feel it is important to note that many school programming offices offer applications for financial assistance for clubs and organizations. Check with your individual offices to find out the requirements, as they differ by location.

For more information about To Write Love On Her Arms, please visit their website: | TWLOHA UChapters

To read the full interview click here.
Interview By: Marti Martin
Editorial By: Megan Washington