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You’re Not Alone Mental Well-Being Campaign

During the 2017-2018 academic year, UChicago Student Wellness conducted a comprehensive Campus Health Needs Assessment, engaging diverse campus partners and students to identify priority needs and develop action plans to address them. One of the three primary needs identified was mental health and well-being.

To focus on this topic, the Wellness Advisory Board (WAB) developed the "You're Not Alone" poster campaign to change the narrative around mental health and to promote help-seeking behaviors. This poster campaign highlights UChicago students, staff and faculty sharing their stories with the campus community, highlighting challenges they may have faced as well as how they take care of themselves. Unfortunately, the full launch of the poster campaign was halted due to University classes moving to virtual learning. 

For Autumn Quarter 2020 and beyond, we have tailored the You're Not Alone poster campaign to be virtual as well. UChicago Student Wellness is cognizant of the many issues students, faculty, and staff are facing during this time, and we want to create community and support around this new reality.

Do you have a mental health story you would like to share? Contact Cassidy Phillips at cswade@uchicago.edu to get details about how you can get involved!

Renee DuPree

Quick Facts:

Name: Renée DuPree

Position at UChicago: Associate Director of Administration, Office of International Affairs

Why she wanted to be involved in this campaign: "My immediate reaction was to be involved in this campaign because I wanted to share the story of my mental health struggles in spite of my success at UChicago. I wanted to let individuals dealing any sort of mental health disorder know that they are not alone; there may be a peer, professor, or staff member at UChicago who can relate to their struggle. In addition, I believe that sharing my experience and knowledge is part of my healing process. It was time to come out of the shadows of shame and be proud of my accomplishments on all levels!  My hope is that someone will be inspired to seek help and not have to experience all the pain I did.  The earlier mental health challenges are addressed, the earlier an individual can embrace the beauty of life and truly live."

Vicky Xie

Quick Facts:

Name: Vicky Xie

Position at UChicago: 4th Year Economics Major

Why she wanted to be involved in this campaign: "We all have our own unique stories about our relationships with ourselves and our mental well-being. But by sharing these stories, I believe we can create more connections between people and begin to challenge the notions that success and strength means being able to have ’all of it together’ without leaning on anyone or thing for support."

Want to know more about the students, faculty, and staff involved in our poster campaign? Click below to read their full stories!

Do you have a mental health story you would like to share? Contact Cassidy Phillips at cswade@uchicago.edu to find out more details. 

These on-campus resources can help you maintain your mental well-being and assist you if are experiencing a mental health crisis. 

  • Bias Education and Support Team (BEST): Comprised of staff members who support students following an alleged bias incident. BEST offers remedying solutions which aim to reduce the effects of the incident.
  • Dean on Call: Consists of University officials who can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are responsible for providing referrals, information, and support to students in a critical incident.
  • Let's Talk: Let’s Talk provides easy access to free, informal, and confidential consultations with therapists from the Student Counseling Service. No appointment is necessary. If you prefer, you do not have to give your name. These sessions are held at various locations across campus at different times to promote accessibilty and ease for you.
  • Sexual Assault Dean on Call: Consists of University officials specially trained as Sexual Assault Survivor Advocates through the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA) and can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They provide emotional support to students who are victims of sexual or relationship violence.
  • UChicago Student Wellness: Provides mental health care to University of Chicago students.
  • Student Disability Services: Provides resources, support, and accommodations for all students with disabilities and works to remove physical and attitudinal barriers, which may prevent their full participation in the University community.
  • University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD): UCPD operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on campus and throughout Hyde Park, Kenwood, Woodlawn, and Oakland neighborhoods. In an emergency situation where you need immediate attention, call UCPD at (773) 702-8181. 

There are many resources on campus designed to help nurture your mental well-being and teach you strategies to keep you at your best:

  • Breathing Room: Relax, talk with a friend, draw a mandala, enjoy the quiet of the meditation space, or soak up Vitamin D with a light box in the Spiritual Life space in Ida Noyes 034.
  • Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College (and Graduate) Students (BASICS): Explore substance use behaviors in a non-judgmental, private environment with a health educator. The goal of BASICS is to help students reduce risky behaviors and harmful effects from drinking while learning how those behaviors impact their overall health and well-being.
  • Exercise: Many people associate exercise with maintaining one's physique and weight, but regular exercise has been scientifically proven to ease mental health burdens as well. Exercise does not have to be limited to running or weight lifting; walking around the city, dancing, yoga, and cycling are just a few examples of ways you can experience the positive effects of intentionally moving your body.
    • Visit Ratner or the Henry Crown Field House to participate in a fitness class or exercise solo.
    • Experiment with using apps on your phone or following along to a YouTube video.
    • Since UChicago is relatively close to Lake Michigan and downtown, accomplish even more by walking the 4.5 mile trail.
    • However you define exercise, commit to doing it regularly for the sole purpose of improving your mental health and watch your life change.
  • Mental Well-being for Students: Mental Well-Being for Students supports student well-being by encouraging emotional preparedness and self-management; recognizing and addressing mental health challenges; and preparing students to support their peers who may be in distress. The course is comprised of four modules with assessments. For access to this module, please contact Emily Schulze (eschulze@uchicago.edu).
  • Let's Talk: A drop-in, informal, and confidential consultation with counselors from UChicago Student Wellness at various locations on campus. No appointment or fee necessary, and if you prefer, you do not have to give your name.
  • Mental Health First Aid (MHFA): An eight-hour training designed to teach you the skills to identify signs and symptoms of mental illness, help someone you are concerned about, and refer them to the appropriate resources.
  • Mindfulness Meditation: Learn the basic techniques of mundfulness meditation and other mind-body skills to relax your body mentally and physically.
  • Restorative Yoga: Join this accessible yoga class that will help melt your worries away. Use gentle movement, breathing, and meditation techniques that will leave you feeling calm and grounded.
  • Refresh Sleep: Learn skills and strategies to improve your sleep and achieve more restful nights and more wakeful days.
  • Stress Relief Days: Take a study break to enjoy snacks, massages, and other stress-relief activites. 
  • Sunny Spots: Check out this map or the website for tips on preventing and fighting changes in your mood caused by the change in seasons. 
  • Take 10: Participate in pop-up events around campus to take a moment to rejuvinate yourself and meet new people.
  • Wellapalooza: Explore the many facets of well-being with activities and information at the bi-annual wellness festival.
  • Wellness Coaching: Examine your strengths and values with a wellness coach to learn how to use them to navigate through transitions and achieve desired changes you'd like to make in your life.

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