Given that at some point in their academic career, college and graduate students often have to contend with issues such as anxiety and depression, addressing mental health concerns is paramount. Raising awareness of mental health will allow more students to identify potential concerns and address them, as well as reduce stigma surrounding mental illness. Mental health issues are even more of a concern now given the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. By engaging with students on a weekly basis, it is hoped that the campaign and the activities it provides will allow students to embrace their own mental health well-being.
The purpose of the campaign is both to educate students about the importance of mental health and provide short applications designed to actively engage individuals in addressing mental health concerns or maintaining positive psychological behaviors. Information will also be provided should students need more assistance from a mental health professional. Through the summer and fall of 2020, CIMH interns, capstone students, and fieldwork students created the Mental Health Campaign, an evidence-based digital mental health campaign to be delivered to CUNY School of Public Health students in the spring of 2021.
Students used grey literature and online mental health resources to compile three, month-long campaigns with easy-to-do, at-home mental wellness-boosting activities. Brief readings, videos and other educational components are included along with activities. Campaigns are designed to be delivered via email, Instagram, and a website to bring mental health resources to students and have them more actively engaged in their own mental health.
Currently, the Mental Health Campaign materials are being reviewed by a clinical team. Once this review is complete, the campaign will be packaged and delivered to students in a pilot survey study. Campaign content will also be tailored to be used in future mental health campaigns that will target specific populations outside of the student population.