TWLOHA to rebrand as TWLOHA-UNH

Saige Batza, Student Life Editor

To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) is a student-run university organization that promotes mental wellness and the prevention of suicide ideation and drug addiction, while supporting those who struggle with self-injury.

Tara Franklin, a senior criminal justice major, is the current president of the organization. She said, “The organization was founded in March of 2006 by Jamie Tworkowski. Around this period Jamie had a friend who was struggling with mental health issues. Her self-injury led her to being hospitalized for her safety. He wrote about these events in a blog post called ‘To Write Love on Her Arms’ that gained a lot of attention.”

“Eventually this post became a nonprofit organization of the same name,” Franklin said. “Several years later TWLOHA established the UChapters program, where students at universities could found their own chapter of TWLOHA and spread its message. However, the UChapters program has been discontinued as of a couple of weeks ago, leading us to rebrand.”

Franklin, along with other organization leaders, look forward to positive changes in the works for the organization. She said, “Once the spring semester concludes we will be running as an independent organization under the name Operation Semicolon. We chose this name as the semicolon holds much significance in the mental health world. We plan to function as we normally do, we just won’t have a national organization looking over us anymore.”

Franklin also spoke about how the removal of a national organization’s presence will allow for more freedom in the way that they approach events throughout the year. This is something that they are seeking to encourage in order to “create original events that we can set as a precedent for future semesters.”

The organization will still hold meetings “based on the same concept of mental health education and awareness.”

Franklin reflected on the impact that the organization has had on the university over the past decade, saying, “We have been successful with our mission of educating and spreading awareness about mental health.”

“During my time at UNH I have noticed that mental health is holding much more importance, and it is being spoken about at higher rates,” she said. “Of course, I cannot attribute all of this to our organization, but I believe we have contributed to this new environment.”

She also described the community presence and value of the organization. “We also utilize TWLOHA meetings as a safe space for students,” she said, “which we believe betters the emotional composition of the school. Most importantly, we can ensure that any attending student doesn’t feel alone and is educated on what they may be experiencing. In turn this prompts them to seek appropriate help. Therefore, we try to present as many different resources as possible to students whether it be on campus or off.”

Franklin says that the most important aspect of the organization is spreading awareness about mental health regulation. “We are a very small organization, but we try our absolute best to make an impact on campus in the form of mental health awareness,” she said. “We hope to continue doing this during our final two meetings as To Write Love on Her Arms, and then following semesters as Operation Semicolon.”

The organization leaders said they want to emphasize the importance of this change, that will hopefully continue to make a positive influence on our campus during the coming semesters.