Students and faculty spread the word about campus mental health, resulting in an increase in campus meetings, trainings and information sessions.Image By: Max Homstad
UW-Madison students, faculty break the silence about campus mental health
College students have a lot to worry about, from living in a new environment to stressful school work, but one crucial element of their lives is often left unattended — their mental health.
Mental health is a nuanced, deeply personal and often avoided subject, but the resolve of UW-Madison students and faculty is strong as they fight to eliminate stigma and raise awareness.
One of the students speaking up about mental health is Ben Wright, a graduate student in the math department who has struggled with mental illness during his own college career.
In the spring semester of this past school year, Wright witnessed two different instructors making comments about suicide that he felt were insensitive. He then requested that the math department be more conscious of mental health.
For months after contacting administration, Wright felt that significant change was not being made. Recently, though, he became more optimistic about steps being taken.
A department-wide message was sent out asserting the importance of supporting students’ mental health and sharing resources available on campus, according to Kathie Brohaugh, the Graduate Program Coordinator for the math department. Mental health awareness training is set to occur at a departmental meeting in the fall.
The math department also appointed associate professor Autumn Kent as mental health liaison, a new position that will serve as a line of communication between students and department administrators.