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A mental state is an emotion or condition that greatly influences an individual’s thought processes at a moment in time. Mental State is a virtual gallery exhibition curated by Dr. Jonathan Fung in collaboration with his San Jose State University Photo 120: Image and Idea class during the Spring 2021 semester. Students researched, reflected, wrestled, and created a poignant body of work based on their personal understanding of mental health. Mental State gave students an opportunity to learn about the power of arts advocacy to raise awareness throughout the university campus and beyond, and to initiate a call to action. 


According to the Association,, and Higher Ed Today:

  • More than 25 percent of college students have been diagnosed or treated by a professional for a mental illness.

  • 34.2% of students with a mental health condition said their college did not know about their crisis.

  • 73% of college students with mental health conditions have experienced, on campus, a mental health crisis.


These are the primary causes of mental health issues in college students:

  • Stress over grades

  • Financial anxiety

  • Overworked

  • Sedentary lifestyles

  • Biological and genetic causes

  • Traumatic events including sexual assault, racism, and the COVID-19 pandemic

Special thanks to the Mosaic Cross Cultural Center and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) as part of CFD's Trauma-Informed Pedagogy Faculty Learning Community.