The Best Midwest Foods; Student-Run Mental Health Clubs

May 27, 2019
 

Louisa Chu/Chicago Tribune

This Memorial Day weekend, we're bringing back one of our favorite shows from the past year. What does Midwestern food mean to you? Maybe a Chicago hot dog, or a horseshoe? We hear from experts, chefs, and callers. But first, we look at student-run mental health clubs on college campuses, and how peers are supporting one another.

Many college students graduated these past few weeks, and this fall a new crop of incoming first year students will be in many cases leaving home for the first time. This transition can be a difficult one for some students.

We’ve actually seen the number of college students who seeking help for serious mental health problems steadily increasing over the past three decades. That’s according to the American Psychological Association.

What can be done to stem this trend? A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry finds that student peer-run mental health clubs across 12 California colleges helped increase awareness of mental-health issues and reduced stigma.

Active Minds is one peer-run mental health group. They have more than 450 chapters nationwide in high schools and colleges which focus on peer education and support for mental health. Devin Dionne is the Vice President of the University of Illinois chapter of Active Minds, and David deBoer is a psychologist and Director of the Counseling Wellness Center at Loyola University Chicago. We spoke with both of them back in August.

Plus—

Summer is hopefully on the way soon, and with that warmer weather comes all kinds of great seasonal foods.

I’m thinking about corn and cherries. Or a frozen custard. And then there’s an ice cold beer. It just so happens that all of these food treats are ones we can claim to the Midwest. But what do we mean when we say Midwest food? And why? The produce makes sense--it’s what grows well here. But why is a horseshoe an Illinois sandwich? And who makes the best?

Last August, we sat down with Chicago Tribune food writer Louisa Chu. She spent a whole month searching for, eating, and writing about Midwest food. We also spoke with Tim and Rebekah Graham. Tim is the chef at the Chicago restaurant Twain, and Rebekah is the beverage director and sommolier.