Governor Richard J. Codey came to campus to mark Seton Hall's membership in the Stigma Free initiative spearheaded by the Codey Fund for Mental Health. The organization's signature sign, declaring Seton Hall a "Stigma Free" campus, was placed prominently at the entrance to the University Center and unveiled on May 16 by the former New Jersey governor and interim President Dr. Mary J. Meehan.
The Stigma Free campaign is designed to promote public awareness of mental health issues and solutions, create conversations and work towards overcoming stigmas, stereotyping, discrimination and removing barriers to recovery.
Governor Codey said, "This is a critical moment in our nation's development. Teenage suicide is up 70 percent in the last 10 years, and that doesn't have to be. More Americans suffer from depression than coronary heart disease or cancer, but you can get help. You can get better — and we're here today to say that we are here with you, and here for you."
Located in Mooney Hall, Seton Hall's Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides free year-round counseling, crisis intervention, consultation, and referral services to members of the SHU community. Their mission is to foster the psychological health and well-being of students in order to enable them to thrive, develop, and achieve academic success.
"Mental health is every bit as important as physical health," said President Meehan. "We have a number of different resources available to our students, including group and individual therapy. But we're also available to just talk. Sometimes it helps to just have an ear to listen or even a shoulder to cry on. College can be difficult, we've all been through it— and we’re here to help."
Nearly 30 towns and 10 campuses across New Jersey are designated Stigma Free communities and the number is growing, noted Executive Director of the Codey Fund, Julie Bannon. "Mental illness knows no racial, cultural, economic, political or religious boundaries, yet fewer than 30% with a diagnosable mental health issue seek treatment." She added, "People are beginning to recognize that the problem is widespread, affects us all in one way or another and isn't going to go away by itself. The time to declare our communities 'Stigma Free' is now."
In the coming months CAPS and the Codey Fund will initiate additional programming together to foster well-being and strengthen student awareness of the resources available to them.
For more information on CAPS, visit »
For more information on the Codey Fund for Mental Health and Stigma Free zones, visit http://www.codeyfund.org/.
Categories: Campus Life