It’s important to talk about mental health. About one in five adults in the United States — more than 43 million people — experiences a mental health condition, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
That’s why three University of Michigan counseling offices have joined together to develop a new campaign supporting awareness and access for faculty, staff and students.
Counseling and Psychological Services, the Faculty and Staff Counseling and Consultation Office and Michigan Medicine’s Office of Counseling and Workplace Resilience provide no-charge, confidential counseling and consultation to support mental and emotional well-being.
They also offer educational and other programs to support resilience, grief and adjusting to change or stress.
CAPS is available to students while FASCCO and the Office of Counseling and Workplace Resilience serve faculty and staff.
“Whether you or someone you know is struggling, there are counseling services available to everyone at the university — faculty, staff and students. We’re here for you.”
That’s the mantra of the campaign, which includes posters, signs, digital banners, ads and other materials that will be seen across the Ann Arbor campus and Michigan Medicine. FASCCO also provides counseling services to faculty and staff on the Dearborn and Flint campuses.
“The message ‘we’re here for you’ is important,” said Todd Sevig, director of CAPS. “And I am most appreciative of the impact this effort can have on our overall culture at U-M — a unified message and canopy of support for all faculty, staff and students.”
Counselors say they also want the campaign to encourage more open dialogue about mental and emotional health, and to invite members of the U-M community to reach out to each other, listen compassionately and speak up if they are worried about someone.
“The health of mind and body are connected, but mental well-being has been commonly misunderstood and often stigmatized, and it simply shouldn’t be,” said Kelcey Stratton, program manager for Resiliency and Well-being Services.
“Mental health is a person’s biological, mental, emotional and social well-being, and seeking help doesn’t need to be daunting. It’s a proactive step, and it can improve lives and relationships.”
Meanwhile, CAPS and University Housing are inviting the campus community to the opening of a new mental health Wellness Zone for graduate and professional students. The Opening Celebration is today from 3:30-5 p.m. at the Munger Graduate Residences.