Connection, support emphasized for Mental Health Awareness Month


Mental Health Awareness Month is an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of mental health in people’s lives, share resources and engage in conversations about mental health.

This May, experts in health and well-being at the university invite colleagues to come together and find moments to support one another. By prioritizing social connections and sharing support, we can build strong relationships that promote well-being and offer comfort during challenging times.

“Working in academia can be challenging, and it’s important for faculty and staff to have a supportive network of colleagues who understand their experiences and can offer guidance and encouragement,” said Rob Ernst, U-M’s chief health officer.

“Whether it’s through shared meals, coffee breaks or other social events, building strong connections with co-workers can make a significant difference in maintaining good mental health.”

Research has shown that feeling connected can help to reduce levels of anxiety and depression while promoting empathy and understanding among individuals in our community.

“Compassion and kindness can go a long way in promoting our overall well-being,” said Kelcey Stratton, chief behavioral health strategist for faculty and staff. “Remember that you are not alone, and we are here to listen and offer support whenever you need it.”

Throughout the year, all faculty and staff have access to confidential, short-term personal counseling at no charge. Eligible individuals include university faculty, staff, retirees and adult family members.

Additional resources for mental and emotional health can be found on the UHR website, including online screenings, information about health plan benefits, and upcoming support groups and workshops.


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