Mental Illness as a Higher Education Professional

As a both a friend and colleague of Kristen’s, Laura Pasquini took a few minutes to share in a podcast how important it is to be open about having mental illness as a higher education professional.

Transcript from Laura’s Podcast

At the 2015 ACPA Convention I was impressed how you take and share more about your personal experience in dealing with mental illness in your PechaKucha talk. I was inspired, Kristen, about the way you shared yourself and continue to #StompOutStigma for mental health awareness. Not only has your effort brought about advocacy for peers in higher education, it has also made others think broadly about the way we discuss issues of mental health for practitioners who work in the post-secondary environment.

Prior to this brief, but important, talk you had shared a little about yourself and your mental illness with myself and a few select few friends and peers in our shared personal learning network. Once this talk was recorded and uploaded to YouTube, it has become an even more impactful way to initiate the taboo conversation around issues of depression, suicide, and more. A number of our peers look to you, Kristen, for making this difficult topic more open and approachable –and I can see both the direct and indirect way your sharing about mental illness issues has impacted others in higher ed.

Kristen, I love how the Committed book and now The Committed Project has become a platform for open discussion. It’s amazing to see how you have transformed this online space into an educational resource and tool for awareness to help dismantle myths and misconceptions about mental illness. I’m not sure our relationship has changed all that much, personally; however, I know your ability for being REAL about this topic has let down a few barriers that our peers and colleagues can now feel open and okay about bringing these issues out of the dark. Thank you for this. Mental illness and issues shared by The Committed project provides a starting point for conversations on our campuses and among colleagues in a field of “helpers” who often don’t take care of themselves first. I am thankful for the community and conversations that you have instigated among peers and challenges you continue to push forward as we consider how to better support staff we work with. Conversations about mental illness does not occur enough – yet you frequently remind us it needs to, before it is too late. Thanks for doing that, Kristen. And thanks for thinking about us first.

About the Author

Laura Pasquini is pretty much the bomb. If it has something to do with technology and teaching, she is all over that. Kristen considers her a kindred soul when it comes to loving and being the person we are 24/7 – even when we’re online, or maybe especially when we’re online. She also co-hosts a couple awesome podcasts – BreakDrink and #3WeduWe heart her commitment to The Committed Project.

#SACommits – Wrap-Up Podcast

Yet again, Sue Caulfield and I got together to talk #SACommits and decided to share our conversation with you. This time we talk about our thoughts on the series, what we enjoyed, and future plans to keep spreading the good word about mental health in student affairs. We hope you’ll continue to join us in discussing this important topic on the interwebs and beyond.

Podcast posted at Kristendom on June 4, 2014.

The Student Affairs Spectacular Podcast Episode #13: Kristen Abell and #SACommits

In honor of our ongoing series of community posts for Mental Health Awareness Month, we spoke with Kristen Abell about how this effort got started with the help of Stacy Oliver-Sikorski & Sue Caulfield as well as why we need to keep fighting the mental health stigma. Connect with her on Twitter, and at her blog! Many thanks to Kristen for taking some time out to chat with us!

Podcast posted at the Student Affairs Collective on May 27, 2014.