You are Not Alone: A Mental Health Awareness Campaign

Psi Beta/Psi Chi Collaboration Grant Summary
Report from the Psi Beta Chapter at Broward College in Davie, Florida

and

The Psi Chi Chapter at Nova Southeastern College, Davie, Florida

You are Not Alone: A Mental Health Awareness Campaign

Submitted by

Laura Torlashi
Psi Beta chapter Vice-President

and
Lindsay Craig
Psi Chi chapter President

We created opportunities to talk about mental health and raise awareness about resources to help deal with mental health issues. The week’s events are intentionally varied to address three components: education, advocacy, and resources. At the core of the campaign is the goal to reach students struggling with the stigma of mental illness. Whether they are someone afflicted with mental illness or someone who misunderstands it, the campaign tries to reach them and educate them about the realities of mental illness and the community surrounding it.

The events were hosted by Broward College’s Psi Beta chapter and NSU’s Psi Chi chapter.

Approximately 100 officers, members, and students attended the following events:

• BC Psi Beta and NSU Psi Chi hosted a Mental Health Festival:

• Gave out yellow bracelets that say “You Are Not Alone” on the outside, and the National Suicide Hotline phone number on the inside.

• Mental health information compiled by NSU Psi Chi members was made available at the tables set up outside of Student Life. Members of Life of Purpose were present to answer questions about substance use

• We provided students with the opportunity to engage in free self-expression by painting rocks and canvasses with positive images.

• Canine Assisted Therapy provided therapy dogs for students to interact

• NSU Psi Chi officers hosted a panel of Psi Chi graduate students in mental health counseling and clinical psychology to talk about clinical

• Psi Beta hosted Dr. Jennifer Davidtz, Assistant Professor and the Director of Internship Training in the College of Psychology at NSU. Dr. Davidtz spoke to BC and NSU students about the importance of the therapeutic relationship in treating individuals who are traumatized.

• Psi Beta hosted Lissa Franklin, Clinical Outreach Coordinator from Life of Purpose, who discussed collegiate propensity for substance use disorder and substance misuse. She discussed viable options for campuses to support students who are in recovery from substance use

In order to judge the impact of the project, students who participated in the events completed self-report measures to assess what they felt they had learned about mental health and the extent to which participation in the campaign decreased feelings of stigma and increased feelings of support on campus. The majority of event attendees reported learning about mental health (average rating 2.6 out of 3), experiencing decreased discomfort discussing mental health (average rating 2.2 out of 3), and were more willing to seek help for mental health (average rating 2.6 out of 3) after attending the events.

The awareness campaign was successfully implemented and we look forward to building on this project in the future. More specifically, we hope for continued collaboration between our Psi Beta and Psi Chi chapters and to continue our efforts to bring awareness to the importance of mental health for our students.

Executive Director’s Note: Psi Beta and Psi Chi offer a collaboration grants competition to support the kind of outstanding projects described in this article. Contact Jerry Rudmann at jrudmann@ivc.edu for more information.

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