Employees who want to learn more about mental health and wellness options can attend the Mental Health Resource Fair 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 10 in the North Pavilion Atrium and surrounding outdoor area.
The fair, hosted by the UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center, scheduled during Mental Illness Awareness Week, will feature food trucks, giveaways and opportunities to meet with mental health providers from UAB and the Birmingham area.
Representatives will be available to answer questions about community resources and services, including A Center for Eating Disorders, Family Connection Inc., Hand in Paw, Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama, UAB Disability Support Services, UAB Police and more.
Broader efforts underway
The EACC isn’t the only campus group focusing its efforts on mental health awareness. To help students better focus on their mental health and wellness, UAB created the Suicide Prevention and Awareness Leadership and Implementation team, a campuswide task force created to develop recommendations for suicide education, prevention, intervention, follow-up, response and postvention plans for the UAB community.
In 2017, more than 575 students responded to a National College Health Assessment survey — more than 50% reported feeling hopeless at some point within the preceding year, and more than 10% reported seriously considering suicide during the same timeframe.
Those numbers were considered serious evidence that action was needed, says Angela Stowe, Ph.D., director of Student Counseling Services and Wellness Promotion.
“We want to take our efforts enterprisewide to support all students, faculty and staff, so that no matter who you are, you know you are part of the Blazer family and that there is support for you if you’re feeling hopeless,” Stowe continued. “We want everyone to know that they matter, that UAB cares and that we have resources available to help them find hope.”
After an audit of UAB programs, services, initiatives and efforts, researching strategies implemented by other institutions and conducting focus groups and surveys, the task force developed a series of recommendations, including reviewing staff needs in the Student Counseling Center, updating policies and procedures to support suicide prevention.