May 23, 2019

While we usually like to keep things pretty light and upbeat at the Rocky Mountain Beard Scratcher, there are occasions when we dive into more serious topics that deserve genuine thought and reflection. As a Jesuit university, Regis challenges its students, staff and faculty to care for and develop the whole person—mind, body and spirit. We are concerned with the wellbeing of all, and we strive to create communities that leave no person behind.

Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed during the month of May in the U.S. since 1949, educating millions of people on the importance of mental health and breaking the stigma that surrounds mental illness. Many people feel they must face mental health issues alone due to shame and reluctance to talk openly about their issues, but we think it’s high time for a change. It’s only natural to acknowledge physical pain and ask for help when needed—why should mental health be any different?

Consider some sobering statistics:

  • 1 in 6 people in the U.S. will experience a diagnosable mental disorder this year
  • 56 percent of American adults do not receive necessary mental health treatment
  • Half of all state and federal prisoners show signs of significant mental illness
  • Colorado has the 6th highest suicide rate in the U.S.
  • Less than 1/3 of Coloradans in need of mental health care receive it, especially in rural counties

While this may seem like a checklist for despair, we see it as opportunity for illumination. Regis is shining a light on mental health and preparing the next generation of stigma-breakers through two graduate-level programs.

Our Master of Arts in Counseling degree is a highly interactive program, designed to help students develop a strong foundational knowledge of best practices and counseling skills. Our graduates go on to treat mental illnesses and emotional trauma at community agencies, nonprofit mental health organizations, child and family counseling centers, substance abuse clinics and employee assistance organizations.

We’ve recently added the Master of Science in Nursing: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner degree. There is a critical shortage of clinical health care providers who specialize in mental health services, but we aim to help close that gap. We train nurses in everything from psychotherapeutic techniques to medication management, granting them the skills to assess, diagnose and provide treatment and ongoing care for a variety of mental health issues.

While it’s true that public awareness of mental health has grown and the stigma surrounding it shows signs of diminishing, there is still a long way to go. If you’re interested in a career that helps others achieve mental and emotional wellbeing, get in touch with a Regis admissions counselor or apply today.

Feeling inspired? Turn your inspiration into a $500 #regisinspired scholarship.