Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM) has been observed in May in the United States since 1949. The purpose is to raise awareness and educate the public about mental illnesses as well as sharing strategies for maintaining mental health and wellness. Additionally, MHAM strives to reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health. The theme for 2022 is “Back to Basics” with the goal of providing foundational knowledge about mental health and what people can do if their mental health is a cause for concern.
PTC is implementing the Make It OK and Seize the Awkward campaigns during May for both students and staff. This campaign is focused on reducing the stigma of mental illness. You will find information about the campaigns posted in common areas on campus. You are encouraged to learn what to say to someone who is struggling using the table tents and other resources located in the cafeteria, student lounge, and staff lounge. And you are encouraged to Pledge to Make it OK by signing one of the cards outside of the cafeteria.
Another important note is that PTC is becoming a JED Campus! The JED Foundation is a non-profit organization that helps schools build comprehensive systems, programs, and policies that support students. They focus on supporting students in multiple ways, but special effort is made to increase mental health, substance use, and suicide prevention efforts. We will have JED Campus representatives with us on May 17th and 18th to meet with our Task Force who will be involved in creating and implementing a strategic plan to address the mental health needs of our students.
Finally, the Citrone 33 Foundation will be hosting a breakfast on May 19th for members of the Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education at PNC Park. Our President and CEO, Dr. Harvey-Smith, will be the keynote speaker and will address mental health needs at our local colleges and universities while also kicking off the Pittsburgh Youth Mental Health Coalition which will follow the breakfast.
Dr. Stephanie Svilar
Dean of Counseling & Student Development