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Real Awareness: Students and Community Get Psyched with MTC

Feb 12, 2019

People looking at mental pictures

Tomorrow, Midlands Technical College will wrap up an ambitious conference on mental health issues. This two-week event, Get Psyched with MTC 2019, features acclaimed photo-journalist Michael Nye’s documentary Fine Line: Mental Health/Mental Illness and more than 25 free mental health workshops and events.

Coinciding with African-American History Month, several of the conference’s events relate to mental health awareness in the African-American community.

“I spent time after work today supporting one of MTC’s Get Psyched events, and I left so inspired by the stories and experiences shared,” said Columbia resident Kayla Springs. “Kudos to MTC not only for hosting this event but for making it available to the general public as well,” she added.

The conference is organized by MTC’s Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) Department. Dr. Lloyd Pilkington, SBS Department Chair, said, “Get Psyched with MTC is an excellent example of how education extends beyond the classroom. During this conference, students, faculty, staff, and Midlands residents are exploring the challenges of the mentally ill, addressing reducing the stigma of mental illness, and learning about promoting the mental health of our local community.”

Michael Nye’s documentary entitled Fine Line: Mental Health/Mental Illness is named to honor those who struggle to cross the fine line from mental illness to mental health. The exhibit has been free and open to the public during the two-week conference.

On the conference opening night, which was held in conjunction with a president’s reception, Michael Nye was on hand to discuss his multimedia documentary that is the cornerstone of the two-week event.

The audience of more than 250 people listened to Nye’s remarks about his exhibit that was more than four years in the making. During those four years, Nye photographed and recorded stories of subjects who were experiencing various mental illnesses like schizophrenia, depression, and bi-polar disorders, among others. Other topics included in the documentary are family, confusion, pain, abuse, treatment, and healing.

“Mental illness is not caused by a weakness of character,” said Nye, whose goal in life is to dispel stigma and stereotypes.

“Get Psyched with MTC has been a great learning experience for students, faculty, staff, and community members,” said Dr. Ronald L. Rhames, MTC President. “There have been heartfelt student poetry readings, engaging discussions, and compelling art exhibits. I’m proud MTC is able to offer this event for our community, and I welcome anyone to come out to the final conference events.”

In 2017, MTC hosted the I am Psyched! National Tour that originated at Howard University in Washington, D.C. MTC was the first college in South Carolina and the first two-year college nationwide to host the tour that explored the incredible contributions of women of color to psychology. Almost 500 students and community members attended that exhibit.

Get Psyched with MTC 2019 runs through tomorrow, February 13, 2019 on the Airport Campus. For details on the final conference events, visit