Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in May in the United States since 1949. It is an important issue especially for classified staff, who are the first line of defense on campus. It’s important to recognize the impact that a colleague or student's mental health has on performance and achievement. You many wonder how you can be a caring colleague without trying to play the role of a psychologist?
Staff and students should be provided with training and knowledge to recognize signs of developing mental health issues. There should be opportunities around the awareness and management of mental health crises, including the risk of suicide, self-harm or harm to others. We need to realize that there's a great deal that can be done to help staff as well as our students with mental health issues.
Missing deadlines, failing to get his work or class, and is disappearing for long periods of time are just a few signs that may raise concerns about the well-being of a student or co-worker.
We also shouldn’t forget that it’s human nature to try to find a pattern and label it, and a lot of people jump to the conclusion that something’s wrong before they have all the facts. We all have times when life gets on top of us, sometimes work-related, and sometimes it's something else. Hopefully, we will seek assistance when we need it and also inform those around us about the availability of help and resources on and off campus.