May 5, 2020

May is Mental Health Month; ‘Tools2Thrive,’ additional resources offer support, help

Mental Health Month logo

Each year, May is recognized as Mental Health Month, and right now COVID-19’s impact has created additional worry, isolation, anxiety and more for most everyone – not just those who were dealing already with mental health challenges previously. Mental Health America (MHA) reports that one in five people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, and everyone faces challenges in life that can affect their mental health.

“As one of the five pillars of our Healthy Boiler Program, behavioral health continues to be a priority at the University,” said Candace Shaffer, senior director of benefits in Human Resources. “As we continue to advocate for integrated mental health and community support programs, Mental Health Month provides the opportunity to remind our Purdue community of the various resources available and introduce anything new. Each individual will have their own unique tools they use to help keep them mentally healthy, which is why it’s important to keep this information at the forefront of people’s minds.”

There are practical tools that everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase resiliency regardless of their situations. That concept is the foundation of MHA’s 2020 theme of “Tools2Thrive.” MHA believes that these tools – even those that may need to be adapted for a short-term basis due to COVID-19 and social distancing – will be more useful now than ever before. Included in the Tools2Thrive group that support strong mental health are:

Purdue employees have access to several tools and resources as part of Purdue’s health plans, including myStrength, LiveHealth Online Psychology and the university’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) – available  at the West Lafayette, Fort Wayne and Northwest campuses. In addition, Anthem’s EAP website offers a variety of resources, including online seminars, articles and more. Log in to get started at AnthemEAP.com.

Additional resources

Community and national mental health organizations provide resources and tools on mental health year-round as well, and even more resources are becoming available due to COVID-19. One of the easiest tools anyone can use is taking a mental health screening courtesy of MHA at mhascreening.org when they need answers. It’s a quick, free and private way for people to assess their mental health and recognize signs of mental health problems. As a reminder, any screening tools such as these are intended to offer a quick snapshot of an individual’s mental health. MHA encourages those whose results indicate they could be experiencing symptoms of a mental illness to share their results with a health care provider or counselor/therapist, such as Purdue’s EAP counselors.

In recognition of Mental Health Month in the presence of COVID-19, Valley Oaks Health is offering a Mental Health Webinar Series on Wednesdays beginning May 6 through May 20 at 4 p.m. ET:

  • May 6 – How To Tend To Your Own Self-Care When Self-Isolating.
  • May 13 – How To Help COVID-19 Anxiety of Children and Teens.
  • May 20 – Helping Older Adults With COVID-19 Anxiety.

A link to each webinar will be available through the Health Hub by Valley Oaks on Facebook at www.facebook.com/valleyhealthhub.

For a list of additional Purdue and community-offered mental health resources and tools, visit the Stress / Mental Health Resources webpage.

Apps and online resources

MHA shares #Tools2Thrive supporting resources from trusted partners, supporters, educational institutions and other national nonprofit organizations. They include:

  • This is My Brave – mission is to bring stories of mental illness and addiction out of the shadows and into the spotlight.

  • Clubhouse-Intl.org – resource for those with mental illnesses to find “Clubhouses” – safe environments with opportunities for friendship, employment, housing, education and access to medical and psychiatric services in one setting.

  • app – promotes relaxation and mindfulness through social coloring and painting; available for Apple devices.

  • com – allows individuals to receive support and encouragement from compassionate people; available for Apple and Android devices.

  • com – social network for patients and caregivers to connect, share and learn from each other.

  • com – safe, supportive online community for people facing health challenges and the people who care for them.

  • org – website that offers a collection of items created for the journey from darkness to light.

  • org (Youth Mental Health Project ) – educates, empowers and supports families and communities to better understand and care for the mental health of youth; also offers The Parent Support Network™ that provides parents worried about their children’s mental health with a dependable, caring network.

  • com – group that’s building a community that encourages individuals to have meaningful discussions with those they care about.

Questions

Any questions regarding benefits coverage and/or mental health resources available to faculty, staff and dependents can be directed to Human Resources at hr@purdue.edu, HRHelp (secure email) or by phone at 765-494-2222 and toll-free at 877-725-0222.

More information about COVID-19 and its impact on Purdue University, refer to the following resources:

PNW and Coronavirus (COVID-19) -- specific to Purdue Northwest.


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