We’re both celebrating and educating for Mental Health Awareness Month this May. We’ll be sharing out stories, resources and more this month to let people know what mental illness is all about, while we also celebrate one year of The Committed Project.
Ah, May. Final exams, move-out dates, commencement activities – and quite honestly, a month where our colleagues are mostly stressed-burnt-out-messes. The Committed Project team used to think that this was a tough month for us to highlight mental illness in higher education, but hey, it almost highlights itself this time of the year.
Celebrating Four Years of Mental Health Awareness Month
This will be our fourth year celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month. We will join a coalition of organizations – like Mental Health America, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and more – highlighting statistics, sharing stories and making plans for how to address these issues in our own communities. Full disclosure – it’s blowing our unpredictable minds that we have done this for four years!
Last year, we transitioned from Committed to The Committed Project, as we recognized that we were ready to take on the Stigma Dragon as a stand-alone organization. This year, we have more big plans. We’re sharing one individual’s story with mental illness as told by some of her closest friends, family members and colleagues. That individual is our own Kristen Abell! We will be hearing from the people in her life through blog posts, podcasts and videos. We’re diving deep to capture what it truly looks like to watch someone you love struggle. Think of it as our version of Where’d You Go, Bernadette, except with less art installations and more perceptions of Kristen’s depression and anxiety.
Educating for Mental Health Awareness Month
In addition to this intimate look at mental illness, we will be sharing statistics on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. We’ll use these to talk about how much unaddressed mental illness can cost your institution and how successful (or not) higher education has been in addressing these issues for staff and faculty members. We will also be sharing some pieces of our Toolkit AND a new fun (free!) surprise at the beginning of the month through our newsletter. If you haven’t signed up for it yet, do it soon so you don’t miss out!
As always, we will be especially present on our hashtags, #HEdCommits and #SACommits. We’ll also be lurking on the official Mental Health Month backchannel (#MHAM2017), and we encourage you to join us there. We know May is a tough month in higher education. But quite honestly, every month can be tough when you are battling a chronic condition like mental illness. We hope you’ll join us in the conversation and engaging members of your own community during this month and beyond!