Mental health awareness month for faculty and staff

Mental health awareness month for faculty and staff

Design by: Kevin Corrales, University Communications
By Orlando Gonzalez, FSAP

Design by: Kevin Corrales, University Communications

Mental health awareness month for faculty and staff

By Orlando Gonzalez, FSAP
During mental health awareness month, the faculty and staff assistance program invites employees to participate in activities across all campuses.

During May, the University’s Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) joins Mental Health America to promote mental health awareness month.  Throughout the month, the FSAP will host a series of events to raise mental health awareness — from an online mental health check to in-person seminars — each offering unique opportunities for developing insight into the importance of mental health hygiene and self-care.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that one-in-five U.S. adults will suffer from a mental health condition during their lifetime and that nearly 60 percent of people with a mental illness go untreated. Although more than 40 million people in the United States face issues with mental health, stigma remains a huge barrier to people receiving the care and attention they need.

“As mental health professionals, we witness the stigma associated with mental health conditions every day,” said Orlando Gonzalez, director for UM’s FSAP.  “Clients disclose they have asthma, diabetes, or heart disease with great ease, but feel uncomfortable expressing they also experience mood swings, depression, or anxiety,” he added.

Consultant for the FSAP Rosario Zavala, shared that, “the culture in which we live plays a significant role in perpetuating the stigma.  When we are silent regarding this issue, or feel it is too taboo to discuss, we feed into fueling the shame and fear that people experience.”

This year Mental Health America’s theme, 4Mind4Body, highlights the importance of work-life balance, spirituality, animal companionship, humor, recreation and social connections as ways to boost our mental health and general wellness.

“The activities and events scheduled aim to help the UM community discover available services, and resources that support mental wellness,” added Pilar Tamburrino, assistant director for the FSAP.

UM’s FSAP provides free and confidential consultation and referral services to faculty, staff, retirees, their domestic partners, spouses, and dependents.  To schedule an appointment, call 305-284-6604.

Participate:

  • Take an online mental health assessment
  • Attend a presentation:
  • Spread awareness. Follow the FSAP on Instagram @UM_FSAP for daily posts of inspirational activities.
  • Visit the FSAP staff at the Well ’Canes Marketplace on May 8 on the Coral Gables campus, May 16 on the medical campus, and at their table outside of The Commons at Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science campus on May 24. Stop by to pick up important information and your green ribbons for mental health awareness.
  • View the faculty and staff assistance program video.

Throughout the month, check out our Life@TheU series on mental health and resources available to you as an employee.