In May, we observe Mental Health Month. Since 1949, Mental Health America (MHA) and organizations across the globe have spread awareness about the importance in keeping up with your mental health and making it a priority along with other health conditions.
Mental Health is a tough, but critical area to address at your institution as the deterioration of a student, faculty, or staff member’s mental health can lead to reduced performance and, in some cases, grave consequences. Here are a few statistics on mental health within the United States:
With the COVID-19 pandemic, this couldn’t come at a more important time to increase awareness within our higher education communities to the importance of managing your mental health and creating positive environments to work and study remotely.
Most colleges and universities closed their campuses and moved to a remote learning and work environment within a matter of days - leaving little to no time for students, faculty, and staff to adjust to this new way of life.
With the uncertainty and anxiety surrounding COVID-19 alone, community members are also managing the new adjustments to their daily routines and some unanswered questions about what will happen next, which can negatively affect one’s mental health.
And, although, increased stress and anxiety surrounding this is expected, how can we best support students, faculty, and staff for the time-being or until measures are in place for community members to return back to campus?
Unfortunately, there are still a lot of unknowns surrounding COVID-19 and what the future holds for higher education, but there are strategies and best practices that administrators can implement now that can help community members prioritize their mental health and continue to work and learn remotely:
Above all, remember that this can be a stressful and anxiety-ridden time for all and adjusting to this “new normal” will take time.
Mental Health organizations, such as MHA and NAMI, are pushing for a focus on early adoption of awareness programs or resources. And, what better way to do so, then spreading awareness throughout your community. Here are five tips to keep in mind with your awareness efforts:
If you're interested in learning more about Mental Health, make sure to check out our comprehensive Mental Wellness Guide, which examines some of the most prevalent mental illnesses on campuses, discusses risk factors, shares statistics on mental health in higher education, and shares strategies on how one can create a positive environment!
If you or someone you know are suffering from a mental illness crisis, please seek help immediately. Please call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or 911.
SafeColleges Training has a variety of employee and student mental health-related courses that help institutions raise awareness, identify risk factors and warning signs, and provide strategies to users on how to create positive environments.