Mental Health; Stigma; Mental Illness
One in four Americans ages 18 and older live with a diagnosable mental health disorder. Due to this high prevalence it is very likely that everyone will encounter someone dealing with a mental health crisis in his or her lifetime. Many college students will experience a crisis during their four years of study due to the high levels of stress and psychological triggers. However, we are often not taught how to help these individuals and the resources available are not well advertised. This lack of education and awareness leads to many students being forced to suffer alone and their mental health disorders left untreated.
For my honors project I developed a mental health-training program that focuses on how to help individuals dealing with a mental health crisis, specifically focusing on Suicide, Depression, Anxiety, and Eating Disorders. I studied each mental health disorder, became certified in QPR, which is a suicide prevention training, and explored all the resources available on our campus in order to create a comprehensive training program. I was able to implement this training to various groups across campus. In addition, I discussed with faculty and professional staff ways we can improve our mental health care at the University of Rhode Island. The purpose of this program was to raise awareness of mental health disorders so that people struggling with one will be able to get the help they deserve. Ultimately, I hope this training presentation will help to erase the stigma that is associated with mental illnesses