Healthy minds: A campus-wide mental health initiative

Mental Wellness Week

Written by: Tiffany Bartell

The following article is written by a counseling professional from Counseling Services in partnership with the Southern Accent.

If you are a young adult on a college campus, it will come as no surprise that mental health is a significant concern for college students across the United States. According to a 2021 report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five U.S. adults report experiencing mental illness each year, and one in 20 report serious mental illness. 

At a small university such as ours, it is easier to start putting faces to that number, making mental health a personal experience for each of us. This means that you or those around you might be part of the number of people who are suffering.

In the last few years, there has been an increasing need for counseling and other mental health services on campus. During the strategic planning process last winter, the university sent out surveys to students and employees to better understand the mental health needs on campus. The survey results indicated that mental health, in general, is a significant concern for the entire campus body and that students are particularly concerned about finding life balance, managing stress and coping with anxiety. 

Over the next five years, Southern will focus on improving student mental health and well-being and decreasing psychological distress through our Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). The QEP, entitled Healthy Minds, will begin in the fall of 2022 as a five-year program geared to providing psycho-education, mental health related curriculum enhancements in select courses, quarterly events and additional resources to the campus. 

Stay tuned for more details that will include how you can be involved.

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