The mission of The Committed Project is to end the stigma surrounding mental illness in higher education and provide support and guidance for professionals whose lives are affected by mental illness.
- Develop programming to educate higher education professionals about mental illness and its widespread impact.
- Advocate on behalf of higher education professionals who suffer from mental illness.
- Promote the normalization of mental illness and its treatment to end stigma.
- Develop tools and resources for institutional use to support professionals with mental illness.
In May of 2014, Sue Caulfield and Kristen Abell, with the support and assistance of the Student Affairs Collective, launched an online series of blog comics to raise awareness of mental illness in student affairs that they called Committed. As they suspected, many in the student affairs community have struggled with issues of mental illness – their own or others – during their time in higher education. Sue and Kristen felt it was important to highlight this and start a conversation about what we could/should be doing to help our colleagues who struggle with these issues.
They chose the name “Committed” for its double-meaning: to reclaim the idea of being committed as a good thing and to allow others to show their commitment to the cause of stomping out stigma. Throughout Mental Health Awareness Month, they worked with individuals to share their stories in word and in picture. Based on the success of the original series, they returned in May 2015 to do a similar series with additional visual representation and a host of resources shared through other social media thanks to their new colleague-in-crime, Carly.
With great excitement, Sue, Kristen and Carly are now taking The Committed Project to the next level and launching an organization devoted to stomping out the stigma of mental illness for all those working in higher education. We hope you’ll join us in this fight!