Change Direction at Georgia Tech

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Mental health issues at Georgia Tech are a real issue and a real concern.  Approximately 1000 new students are seen each year at the Counseling Center for counseling services.  Over the past years, what we know about these students is this:

  • 1 in 3 students have previously sought counseling
  • 1 in 4 students have been prescribed psychotropic medication
  • 1 in 5 have experienced physical, sexual, or emotional abuse
  • 1 in 13 have experienced problems with substance abuse
  • 1 in 15 have attempted suicide

Yet, many students who do not seek counseling may often experience emotional distress. 

The Counseling Center has joined the Campaign to Change Direction (changedirection.org), a national campaign designed to raise awareness and provide education about mental health issues.  This initiative, promoted by First Lady, Michelle Obama, is a result of the 2013 White House National Conference on Mental Health.  A number of prominent national organizations have signed-on to pledge their support, including:

  • American Psychological Association
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving
  • Aetna
  • Military Officers Association of America

The Georgia Tech Counseling Center is the first university/college counseling center to pledge its support.  We want the Georgia Tech community to know that we are all in this together and that everyone’s well-being matters at Georgia Tech! 

Here is how you can help spread this message:

Know the 5 Signs is at the core of this initiative and is designed to provide education about these 5 indicators of emotional distress:

  1. Personality Change
  2. Agitation
  3. Withdrawal
  4. Poor Self-Care
  5. Hopelessness

You can help change the conversation about mental health issues and stigma associated with it by learning the 5 signs.  You can also learn how to help others by knowing the resources on campus for those students, friends, or colleagues by visiting the Resources pages on this site or the “Tech is Tough” mental health portal at united.gatech.edu.

 

A photo of a woman holding up her hand to show a sticky note with the words "I know the signs" written on it.

 

Tell your friends on social media:

Then, once you’ve learned the 5 signs, help to spread the message and join the campus community in the #ChangeMentalHealth social media campaign.  Create a note or write on your palm "I know the signs," and post a selfie on your social media accounts.  Make sure to tag @GTCounseling and use the hashtags #ChangeMentalHealth and #GTDare2Care.

Mental health is an important concern for all of us at Tech.  We each play an important role in helping to remove the stigma of emotional distress and seeking help.  Together we can impact the lives of those around us by knowing the 5 signs and the resources available for the support they need.  We can all make a difference in changing the view of mental health and mental health support here at Georgia Tech.

 

A photo of a hand being held out, with the words "I know the signs" written on the palm in ink.

 

For more information about the national campaign visit changedirection.org.

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