Help ease the stigma tied to one of the most common causes of disability in America.

May 13, 2015



Nearly one in five American adults ages 18 and up will experience a diagnosable mental disorder this year. You may know someone who’s been impacted by a mental health condition. A friend, a family member, or a coworker. The toll on their minds and bodies is huge, limiting their motivation to work, sleep, eat, care for their families, or enjoy life.

Unfortunately, many face mental health alone due to shame and reluctance to openly talk about their issues. Particularly at work, where there are concerns that asking for help can lead to being passed over for a promotion or being socially excluded at the office.

It’s natural to acknowledge physical pain and ask for help. Think of the all the times you’ve asked or answered the question, “what hurts?” Admitting mental health issues is more complicated. Just discussing mental health makes many people uncomfortable. It’s time to change this.

Mental health professionals, like counselors and psychiatrists, are trained to give guidance on personal, social or psychological mental health problems. They’re an important resource for anyone seeking treatment. The month of April is counseling awareness month. The American Counseling Association is educating the public on their role, their work, and how to ask for – and get – help. Follow their outreach and take time to rethink mental health in your own life and the lives of those around you. Here are three ways to start: 

  1. Realize that caring for your mind is just as important as caring for your body. As a Jesuit institution, Regis University believes in caring for and developing the whole person – mind, body and spirit. We promote human dignity and providing service to anyone in need. How do these ideals align with your own beliefs? Learn how to take care of your own mind and offer to help others in need, no matter how uncomfortable the conversation may be.

  2. Know how to spot someone in need. Campaign to Change Direction is a group that wants to change the perceptions of mental health in America.
    The coalition was formed following the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. They want to improve this country’s overall mental health by changing the way it’s viewed and talked about in our culture. Learn the five signs of emotional pain and how to tell when someone may need help.

  3. Have a conversation on mental health with someone you know. Change comes in small steps – but discussing the issues with a friend or family member is a way to start. Put mental health in the same frame of mind as cancer or heart disease and give those suffering a real chance to get help.

Are you interested in a career helping others in need? Regis’ graduate degree in counseling prepares you to be a reflective, inquisitive and service-oriented leader that makes a difference in the lives of people in need.