Counseling and Psychological Services to Host Mental Health Awareness Speaker
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania’s counseling and psychological services will host Minding your Mind speaker Andrew Onimus on Tuesday, September 19 at 7:30 p.m. in Abeloff Center for the Performing Arts.
In his presentation, “Be the One: A Student Athlete’s Journey from Depression to Recovery,” Onimus will discuss his fall as a stand-out student athlete whose injury left him sidelined and battling major clinical depression and severe anxiety.
“The purpose of this event is to promote mental health awareness and prevention during September, National Suicide Awareness Month,” said Linda Van Meter, Ph.D., director of counseling and psychological services. “With the rise in mental health problems, including depression and anxiety, it is important to encourage individuals who are struggling with mental health issues to seek help. Many people are reluctant to talk about mental health problems because of the negative associations and the fear of being judged. Programs presented by peers that focus on mental illness, resiliency and recovery help to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. This is the generation of college students who will be changing the conversation and the way our culture feels about mental health and mental illness.” Dr. Van Meter hopes hearing the story of another college student who struggled with depression and his journey to recovery will offer hope to those experiencing mental health issues.
Bringing a former student athlete to ESU as the speaker on the topic of mental health will hopefully show students that mental health problems don’t discriminate. “We in the ESU Athletic Department believe mental health is a part of, not apart from, a student-athlete’s health. We strive to improve access to quality mental healthcare with the goal of creating a culture where seeking care for mental health issues is as normal as seeking care for physical injuries,” said Kevin Forde, interim director of athletics. The athletic department uses any and all resources from ESU, including counseling and psychological services and taking parts in programs like this one, the NCAA, and other mental health professionals to provide educational resources and best practice models and tools which can offer care for student-athlete mental health. “We are working to develop an athletic environment that supports help-seeking and facilitates early identification. Establishing practices for care means opportunity for more care across sports in support of our student-athletes’ mental health and well-being,” Forde said.
“Be the One: A Student Athlete’s Journey from Depression to Recovery,” is open to the public at no cost. The event is sponsored by The Office of Accessible Services Individualized for Students, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, Warriors Department of Athletics, Wellness Education & Prevention, ESU Special Education & Rehabilitation and Human Services, and Active Minds East Stroudsburg University.