It’s Okay to not be Okay!

In a world where everyone tries their best to present their best selves all the time, it can be easy to forget that it is okay to not be okay. The pressure to always be okay can be extremely taxing and can put a real stain on your mental health. Remembering that it is okay to not be okay is important and is a crucial step in advancing in your mental health journey.  

 Here are some ways you can take care of your mental health:  

1.Be cognizant of your bandwidth: knowing your capacity and how much you can take on allows you to mitigate unnecessary stressors. Try checking in with your mood, physical feelings, and stress levels every day to learn your baseline.  

 2.Learn how you best deal with stress: learning how you best deal with stress, is the first step in alleviating it and helps you avoid burnout. Finding coping mechanisms for stress can look like reflecting on what has worked in the past, talking with your healthcare provider about medications or other treatment options that can be implemented to help support your holistic health. 

 3.Recharge yourself: recharging allows you to take a step away from the stressors in your life and gives you the opportunity to refill your mental and emotional gas tank. Engaging in things that energize you or creating spaces where you can relax are a fantastic way to recharge your mental and emotional health.  

 4.Set boundaries for yourself: setting boundaries for yourself provides you with the opportunity to maintain your mental wellness. Boundaries could assist in preserving your mental and emotional energy and provide you with a sense of control that can empower you on your mental health journey.  

 5.Get help when you need it: creating a strong support system is a wonderful way to care for your mental health. Support systems allow for you to create a network that are there to celebrate your successes, and help you work through your problems.  

 Hope for the Day’s “Things We Don’t Say” workshop, “is a program designed to teach individuals how to understand self-care and be supportive to proactive mental health care for others. We press the discussion about stigma, its impact on individuals and communities, and teach practical skills for early recognition of mental health challenges that often go unaddressed due to the silence of stigma, building to a crisis stage. Through Peer-to-peer Proactive Prevention, we can disrupt the highest risk factors before the crisis stage. If we make it OK to talk about mental health, we can save lives” (HFTD). 

 If you or a friend are interested in attending “Things We Don’t Say,” Hope for the Day offers this one-hour workshop (Tuesdays at 11am CST and Thursdays at 1:00pm CST ) You can register here: 

For additional wellness information and tips join HPW every Wednesday for Wellness Wednesday from 4-4:30, you can find more information and register on DeHub.  

If you or a friend need mental health support DePaul offers free brief counseling services through the app MySSP. In the case of an urgent or life-threatening emergency please Call 911, go to your nearest emergency room, or (if you are on campus) call Public Safety: (773) 325-7777 (Lincoln Park) or (312) 362-8400 (Loop). 




Substance Free Fun and Helpful Tips ( If you choose to use)

As summer and warm weather approach us, so do the good times with friends and family. Summer kicks off patio-season, lake days and backyard BBQ’s. Along with the warmer weather, drinking culture often normalizes and glamorizes increased alcohol use. It’s important to remember a few things: (1) It’s possible, normal, and healthy to enjoy summer fun while being sober, (2) If you choose to use, practice harm reduction and be inclusive of those who choose not to use.


Substance-Free Fun

If you’re sober curious, sober-free, in recovery, and/or looking to be a great host with non-alcoholic options, here’s the perfect mocktail for you.


Strawberry Hibiscus Ginger Spritz

Ingredients: 2 oz ginger, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, juice of 1 lime, 1 cup of muddled strawberries, 4 oz of club soda, 1/2 cup of dried hibiscus flowers



  • Make hibiscus syrup by combining 1 cup sugar, 1 cup of water, and 1/2 cup of hibiscus flowers in a small pot and allowing to simmer over medium heat until all of the sugar dissolves.
  • Let syrup cool, then combine lime juice, grated ginger shrub, as much hibiscus syrup as your heart desires, 4 oz of club soda, and smushed strawberries to glass, still and enjoy


If You Choose To Use

For those who do plan on using alcohol during your summer festivities, it’s essential that you know your standard pour measurements and have some harm reduction strategies on deck to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable time.


When mixing/making drinks, it’s easy to forget to measure or track how much alcohol you’re consuming. Having an understanding of the standard pour for each type of drink allows you to keep track of how much you’re drinking, ensuring that you don’t take things past your limit or the recommended health limits.


A standard pour of:

  • Beer is 12 fl oz
  • Wine is 5 fl oz
  • Malt liquor is 8-9 fl oz
  • 80 proof distilled spirits are 1.5fl oz


Being cognizant of how much you’re drinking helps you to stick to any limits that you set for yourself and makes it easier to avoid engaging in binge drinking. Many people are surprised that what counts as binge-drinking is much lower than most expect. For women, binge drinking is having 4 or more drinks in a short period of time; for men, it’s five or more. Also, know that how BAC impacts you will differ according to many factors, including gender and weight. For a helpful tool to gauge how alcohol may be impacting BAC for you, visit this BAC calculator tool.


Other harm reduction strategies to use include:


  • Making a drinking plan ahead of time and setting a limit
  • Tracking your drinks throughout the night
  • Pacing yourself
  • Not mixing alcohol with other substances
  • Staying with friends and only drinking in spaces where you feel safe
  • Having refusal lines prepared
  • Knowing who you can call for help when you need it


Reflecting On Your Use

Remember that our relationship with substances may change over time. Maybe you’ve previously chosen to use alcohol and are now noticing an unhealthy relationship with it. It’s important to continue checking in with ourselves regarding our relationship with alcohol and other substances. Below are some helpful questions to consider.

  • How would I describe my relationship with alcohol?
  • How would I know it’s time to cut down on drinking?
  • How would I know it’s time to quit drinking?
  • Am I engaging in a wide variety of ways to have fun, celebrate, let loose, and socialize? Or is alcohol always involved?
  • Am I engaging in a wide variety of ways to relax, cope with stress, manage emotions, and unwind? Or is alcohol always involved?
  • Where would I turn if I was curious about my relationship with alcohol, concerned I may have a problem, looking for recovery support, or wanting to learn harm reduction strategies? Hint: or email to set an appointment with our Substance Misuse Prevention Specialist.


Getting Help

If you need additional resources or support navigating your relationship with alcohol visit We offer a variety of supports on the topic, including:

  • Peer-led workshops to learn harm reduction strategies and reflect on your use
  • Workshops for those who are living life substance-free
  • 1:1 assessments to explore your relationship with alcohol
  • Collegiate Recovery Community meetings

Gender Based Violence Prevention Workshop Recap

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). To kick off our SAAM campaign, we invited Liz from Greenlight Counseling Service to tell us all about Gander Based Violence and prevention strategies. Here are some important learnings from the workshop.

What is Gender Based Violence (GBV)? 

  •  a general term used to capture any type of violence that is rooted in exploiting unequal power relationships between genders.
  • This can include gender norms and role expectations specific to a society as well as situational power imbalances and inequities.
  • GBV can impact anyone, and can include intimate partner and family violence, elder abuse, sexual violence, stalking and human trafficking.
  • GBV disproportionately impacts communities experiencing other forms of oppression – Race – Income – Sexual Orientation – Disability etc.


Let’s break GVB down to few different categories!

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) 

  • Domestic violence(also referred to as intimate partner violence (IPV), dating abuse, or relationship abuse)is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship. (imag: “Power and Control Wheel”)
  • Types of abuse include physical, emotional, psychological, financial, sexual abuse
  • Specific dynamics of the college setting can make students more vulnerable to abuse and less able to access support
  • Psychological aggression is the most common form of dating violence among college students

Sexual Assault 

  • Sexual assault is any type of sexual activity or contact, including rape, that happens without your consent. Sexual assault can include non-contact activities, such as someone “flashing” you (exposing themselves to you) or forcing you to look at sexual images
  • Statistically, 50% of sexual assaults occur during a period called the Red Zone – from the start of the semester until Thanksgiving Break – First year students are especially vulnerable during this time due to lack of knowledge about campus and resources


What Can We Do Right Now???

  • Learning more about IPV and Consent! Send the request of training to HPW office
  • Attend Bystander Training.  Our next Vinny Vow Training is coming on April 15th and May 20th
  • Learning how to support survivors. Attend “Supporting Survivor” Workshop on April 22nd
  • Meet new Sexual and Relationship Violence Specialist on Insta live to ask any questions! April 13th, Tuesday at 3pm @healthydepaul


Click for more information about Greenlight Counseling

Wellness Wednesday: Healthy Relationships & Boundaries

‘Tis the season to be chatting about healthy relationships! If you’re familiar with our work in HPW you know that we talk about how relationships come in many forms and might look different for everyone. Something that you feel is a red flag in a relationship may only be a “yellow” flag for someone else. It’s important to really consider your own values and what you’re looking for in a relationship. Before you’re able to really establish good needs and boundaries with others you need to know yourself. A good relationship with ourselves is the most valuable relationship we can have; while a little bit of self-care can go a long way. 

A key to sustaining healthy relationships with others is by setting boundaries and keeping open lines of communication. The earlier both of these can be established the better. These boundaries may be physical or emotional. If we’re talking about physical boundaries with others then it’s important to bring up consent as well. Consent is absolutely essential in all physical activity involving more than one person. If you’re speaking with a friend and observe your friend’s mood shift from good to bad you might ask if they want a hand to hold or a hug. This same principle applies to nearly all situations you come across. Whether it’s platonic, sexual, or anything in between, communication and consent still apply. 

Never make assumptions about what a person needs at any given moment. Having poor boundaries gives room for others to make assumptions about another’s thoughts, feelings, and needs. As with any kind of relationship – it’s a system of give and takes. Take what you need and give what you can. But we need to be careful not to let others take too much from us or us to give too much to them. By defining good boundaries, you will set the expectations for what kind of behavior you will accept from others and what kind of behavior you want. Emotional boundaries refer to the ability to separate one’s feelings from the feelings of another. The best example I have for this is letting one person’s feelings dictate your own. If you think your boundaries are being crossed then it’s important to examine your own feelings toward that person. Do you seem irritated or resentful around them? Emotionally drained? Maybe it’s the other way around. This can lead to losing parts of yourself to them – or them to you. What might have been a small disagreement has suddenly turned into something much bigger because it’s possible that emotional boundaries may not have been set and/or adhered to. Co-workers, friends, or romantic partners – this applies to all of them.

Communicating our expectations in a relationship beforehand leaves far less room for interpretation and misunderstanding. It’s never too late to inform others of your boundaries, and it’s never too late to adjust your boundaries. Maybe you feel that you have more to give now that classwork seems lighter, or maybe it’s the opposite – and you have less to give because you’re buried in classwork. Either way, your boundaries should be expressed and must be respected. Make a commitment to put yourself first. We preach, “Take Care of Yourself” all day long and hopefully it’s easy to see why! If you find yourself struggling with your emotional health we have professional staff in the office who would be happy to give you advice, be a listening ear, or connect you with other on-campus or off-campus resources. Email us at “” or call by phone at (773) 325-7129. Check out our social media pages on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @healthydepaul. Blue Demons, don’t forget to Take Care of Yourself, Take Care of Others, and Take Care, DePaul!



Honoring Black History Month

Honoring Black History Month

To say that the last few months have been historical is an understatement. They will be forever remembered in American history and particularly for Black Americans. We’ve seen our first ever elected Black woman as Vice President, Kamala Harris and our first ever elected Black senator Rev. Raphael Warnock who is also the first Black Democrat to represent a southern state.

But, we have also seen the disproportionate effect of Black Americans experiencing death, job loss, continued police brutality and race-fueled attacks. As Black history month kicks off, there won’t be opportunities to collectively gather in one space but there are many ways to do this virtually, personally and within your own social circles. This month, think about the ways that you can honor, respect and support Black lives not just during this month but every day.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Read about Black History Month: There are many great resources on the internet but consider filtering your search to read specifically from the point of view of a Black person
  • Pick a book about racism, discrimination and other systems of oppression. Much of these issues stem from anti-Blackness culture.
  • Engage in respectful dialogue with active listening about the experiences of Black people and ask questions.
  • As you read articles, statistics and headlines, question everything including who is writing that piece from that perspective.
  • Ask yourself how you can support and respect Black communities more than you are doing right now

Get involved at Depaul by learning more about the Black Cultural Center here.

Also, Sankofa the Black Student Formation Program will be highlighting different aspects of the Black community / Black culture with various staff/faculty and organizations. Follow this campaign with #BlackisSankofa to learn more. You can find them on social media on Instagram @depaulsankofa, and Twitter @sankofadpu.

Wellness Wednesday Guide: Sleep

You’ve heard us say it before – but we’ll say it again… sleep is super important and is a crucial support for a healthy body and mind! Let’s be real here for a second. I totally understand that it’s not always the easiest to get seven to nine hours of sleep per night, but that’s the number that the experts at the National Sleep Foundation recommend. (Yeah, alright so we know a lot about the topic of sleep and its importance, but there’s no way we could know more than the experts over there, that’s for sure! If you don’t want to take our word for it at least take theirs.) Sleep is often overlooked during times where we have a lot on our plate. Think midterms, finals, big papers, etc. Maybe this is a good opportunity to take a look at some of our previous articles on scheduling, planning, and effective time management so you can knock those assignments out of the park, or check our article on naps. Just an idea! Studies have shown that we need sleep in order to effectively retain all the knowledge we cram in our brains last minute. However, I’m sure you already know this! You’ve heard it time and time again, yet for some reason, we still overlook sleep and disregard it more often than we would like to admit. If you’re reading this at 3 AM and have been staring at a textbook or PDF’s for the last 7 hours take this as a sign to get some much-needed rest. If you’re still not convinced, let me try and throw some compelling points your way. If you join(ed) us for our Wellness Wednesday workshop you might recall: 

  • Proper sleep plays a huge role in supporting physical health (such as supporting the immune system and lowering the risk of certain diseases).
  • Proper sleep helps support positive mental health.
  • Proper sleep helps improve cognitive functioning, like memory retrieval and learning. (There’s that whole memory retrieval thing that I was telling you about!) 

If you’re anything like me then you’ll find yourself saying something along the lines of this. “Yeah yeah. Okay, I get that sleep is important. But so is endless scrolling on TikTok and Instagram in bed.” Or,  “what if I miss an important text?” Alright, maybe TikTok isn’t THAT important but I’ll still keep my phone by my bedside just in case. Big no! The key to proper sleep starts well before we even close our eyes. Since we’re in 2021 and it still needs to be said – it’s best to keep devices off and stored away from our bed. Think of bed as a place where we sleep and not a place where we should be scrolling social media. This might be upsetting for some (like myself, honestly), but I don’t make the rules – I’m just the messenger. Think about it though, if we condition ourselves to think of our bed as a place where we scroll social media or watch YouTube then it would make perfect sense that we might resort to that if we can’t sleep. Something as simple as a phone in bed has the potential to destroy any good sleep habits we’ve made! An effective sleep routine can do wonders and help us get the sound sleep our bodies deserve. Here’s an example of what works for me. 

  • First, I’ll set a reminder for a wind-down time at night and an alarm to wake up in the morning. Remember, I’m aiming for 7-9 hours! Eventually, my body will know this schedule and I won’t need any kind of alarms. 
  • I make sure to avoid all caffeine past 5 PM. I’m a coffee addict but I’ll switch to tea at night. I’ve found this helps tremendously.
  • I’ll try my best to avoid screens ~30 minutes before bedtime. (The blue light stimulates the brain and keeps me wired. No thanks. Though, I must confess… I’m not perfect at this.)
    • Putting down technology gives me a good chance to read that book I’ve started but never finished. The best part? No blue light from books! And a side note: E-Ink has no blue light. E-reader fans rejoice!
  • Lastly, Before I slide under the blanket I’ll put my phone to charge on my desk across the room.
    • 1. No distractions or temptation to indulge in endless scrolling on TikTok or Instagram. 
    • 2. When the alarm goes off in the morning I’ll have to get up and out of bed. Thus, reducing the chance of me slithering back under the covers. 

If for some reason I just can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes I’ll hop out of bed and do a little more reading under a light that’s a warmer color. The more orange the light output the better it will be on your eyes at night. It’s never good to lay in bed awake for more than 20 minutes, according to the experts.

If you’re looking for a little more help in improving your snooze we run a great program called Refresh Sleep. It’s a 7-week online program filled with a whole bunch of tips and tools for better sleep. Best of all, it’s free! 

If you have any other questions about sleep feel free to reach out to us in the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness! We’ll always have an answer to your questions (or point you in the right direction to find an answer). Never hesitate to contact us if you need anything. 

Office of Health Promotion and Wellness

Phone: (773) 325 – 7129


Social Media: Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook: @healthydepaul

Do you enjoy our Wellness Wednesday articles? Subscribe to our blog for more!

Take Care of Yourself, Take Care of Others, Take Care, DePaul!

Wellness Guide to Surviving the Holidays

The holidays can be a wonderful time of year for many but it can also be a time of sadness, grief and overwhelm. Traditionally, the holidays are a time to spend with family and loved ones. But, keep in mind we don’t all come from traditional families and not everyone has a family who understands and accepts who they are. This year especially, the holidays will look different for many as some of us decide to avoid traveling and large gatherings.

For those of us that are close with our families, I’m sure we can also empathize with those times where we’ve had our differences and where there might be strain and anxiety even with those that we love dearly. And for anyone who has lost someone close to them, the holidays are a time where we think fondly of those we miss and wish for them to be with us again. Additionally, for those that experience a mental illness or any mental health challenges, the holidays can surely be a time of overwhelm and anxiety inducing. This is a guide for everyone to remind you that no matter how you celebrate the holidays this season, remember to make time for yourself every day.


  1. Create a plan or schedule

Do you have to buy presents, plan the holiday meals, bake cookies, decorate, etc.? As with any project, create a timeline of when and how you will get everything done. This not only ensures that you won’t forget to do something but it also allows you to focus on the list in front of you and not the list swirling around in your head. Make sure to share this list with others and divvy up the responsibilities. Maybe make others the lead of some tasks so you don’t have to lead everything.

Image Courtesy of Eighteen 25


  1. Decide what you will and won’t discuss with others

Brené Brown says “We share with people who’ve earned the right to hear our story.” You get to choose who you want to tell and share your story with. Don’t feel obligated to share everything, only share what you want to share with others. If they pressure you, you can say something like: “I don’t want to share this, please respect my privacy and choice.”

Marble Jar Friends | Marble jar, Brene brown daring greatly, The gift of imperfection
Image Courtesy of Brené  Brown


  1. Reflect on what the holiday season means to you

Whether you have an identified spiritual practice or not, the holidays have some sort of meaning for all of us and we can surely identify happy and sad emotions with the season. Think about this year and what you want to focus on as you move through the holiday season. Decide how you will celebrate and remember this year. We have less than a month left of this very challenging year, ask yourself ‘what emotions do I want to feel and what experiences do I want to have?’

56386-pause-and-reflect-quotes - Wisdom-Trek ©
Image Courtesy of Wisdom Trek


  1. Identify your own needs

We all have daily basic needs as well as other unique needs that help us thrive and feel secure and happy. What do you need to feel secure and happy and to thrive this holiday season? Whatever it is, write it down and remind yourself of those needs every day. If you need to share them with others, do that too!

Types of Self-Care You Need to Know - Blessing Manifesting
Image Courtesy of Blessing Manifesting


  1. Give yourself what you need

After you have identified what you need to thrive, feel satisfied, secure and happy, — Give that to yourself every day.

We can’t get through each day without adequate rest, food, water and shelter. These basic needs many of us take for granted but we also forget to give them to ourselves quite often. Slow down and notice what you’re eating and drinking, take in your surroundings and ground yourself to the present. The holidays will be over before we know it, so identify what you need and make sure to give it to yourself every day. It’s not selfish but essential!!

Give yourself the same care & attention that you give to others and watch yourself bloom. #fresh_essay #attention #b… | Words quotes, Care quotes, Positive quotes
Image Courtesy of Pinterest


  1. Create an escape plan

Knowing your boundaries and understanding what is and is not acceptable will help you voice your needs and maintain your own balance. What will you do if you are pushed to your tipping point? How will you know when you’ve reached this point? Create a plan that includes how you might know when you get to this point and who you will call for help and support. And lastly, how you will recuperate and restore yourself.

Without a Plan, You Do What's Passive and Easy | by Thomas Oppong | Better Marketing | Medium
Image Courtesy of Medium


  1. Practice kindness and gratitude

Whether it’s giving it to yourself every day and/or to others. We can all use more kindness and gratitude. Take a deep breath and share what you are most grateful for and spread that kindness forward each day. Consider adding some deep breathing and mindfulness meditation to your days too! Here’s an introductory video to get you started.

Seven Ways to Cultivate Gratitude — Mindsoother Therapy Center
Image Courtesy of MindSoother Therapy Center


  1. Find Joy

Challenge yourself to find the joy in each day. Whether that’s a smile, a laugh or even a cry. There is joy to be found everywhere. Sometimes we just have to reframe our vision and sometimes we will find it in unexpected ways.

Arlington Animal Services Home 4 the Holidays Event: Dec. 5, 2015 - City of Arlington
Image Courtesy of Arlington Animal Services


The holidays are never easy, but if we take care of ourselves first and then others, it will be much more manageable.


Wishing you a very healthy, safe and joyous holiday season.

Take Care of yourself, Take Care of Each Other, Take Care DePaul







Mental Health During COVID-19: Your Health Comes First

(Photo provided by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention)

Watching the rising rates of the coronavirus in your state, learning about different signs and symptoms of COVID-19, along with hearing about the COVID-19 deaths causes so much worry, stress, fear, and anxiety.

Being in a pandemic is stressful.

Not having a job during a pandemic is also stressful.

Staying home while working at home can be overwhelming.

Hearing or witnessing racial injustice brings tears and frustration.

There are many things that we cannot control, but there are things that we can control. Focusing on what is in our sphere of influence can help lessen our stress. We can do our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home as much as we can, having hand sanitizer nearby, practicing social distancing while wearing a face mask or cloth covering, and by washing our hands frequently. These are all necessary actions that are needed to reduce the spread of COVID-19. While taking these protective actions to care for ourselves and others, we can also take care of our mental health, which is very important, especially during this difficult time.

Unmanaged stress, fear, and anxiety can negatively impact our daily activities. For example, it may lead to disruptions in our sleeping and eating patterns, increased use of substances, difficulty concentrating, worsening of a mental illness or a health condition, and in general adding more stress. Coping during a pandemic is truly important. How do we do that?

First, it is important to be self-aware of your body and your emotions. Be knowledgeable of how your body responds to stress, fear, and/or worry. You may experience more headaches, or you may have a decreased appetite. Everyone responds differently to stress, so it is important to know your body. In addition, it is important to know what you need when your body is responding to stress. You may need more family time and/or more time alone or you may want to try other self-care behaviors like practicing mindfulness— self-care looks different for everyone.

The next thing is to accept yourself–accept all of you. Strive for progression, instead of perfection. Find ways to show care and love for yourself. Celebrate small victories.

Here are some healthy ways to cope provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):


  • Take care of your emotional health.Our emotional injuries are just as important as our physical injuries. Taking care of your emotional health will help you think clearly and react to the urgent needs to protect yourself and your family. Focus on grounding yourself by trying mindfulness exercises.


  • It is okay to take a break. Zoom calls all day? Insert short breaks in between. Take a break from reading and watching the news. Set digital boundaries and reduce your screen time by engaging in activities that do not involve a screen such as reading a book, cooking, painting, spending time outside.


  • Take care of your physical body.
    • Take deep breaths, stretch, meditate, do yoga
    • Try to eat nutrient-dense, well-balanced meals and stay hydrated
    • Exercise regularly.
    • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Know what to do if you are sickContact your medical provider if you are sick and/or get tested for COVID-19 if you may have been exposed to someone who has had COVID-19.


  • Know where and how to get treatment and other support services and resources, including counseling or therapy (in person or through telehealth services).


  • Connect. Although you cannot see your family and friends as often as you like due to the pandemic, you still can connect with them virtually or through sending letters. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling. They can keep you accountable as well and you can also tell them what you need from them. You can also join a new safe community, healthy space such as a book club, or the Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC).
    • At HPW, we have the Collegiate Recovery Community which is open to any DePaul student who identifies as being in recovery from substance use, mental health issues, or eating concerns. It is such a great support network, especially during these times. CRC meets virtually on Thursdays from 5 PM -6:15 PM. If you are interested in joining, feel free to contact Katie Bellamy at


Check out our blog and website for helplines and resources or reach out directly for 1:1 support.  

The Office of Health Promotion & Wellness encourages you to take some time and reflect on the healthy ways to cope listed above. We also want you to take care of yourself first so that you can take care of others. Send this to another Blue Demon to spread the message.


Take Care DePaul!

Black, Indigenous, People of Color Mental Health Awareness Month

“Once my loved ones accepted the diagnosis, healing began for the entire family, but it took too long. It took years. Can’t we, as a nation, begin to speed up that process? We need a national campaign to destigmatize mental illness, especially one targeted toward African Americans…It’s not shameful to have a mental illness. Get treatment. Recovery is possible.” -Bebe Moore Campbell 

The month of July is Black, Indigenous, People of Color Mental Health Awareness Month (BIPOC MHAM). For this month, we want to honor Bebe Moore Campbell who made this all happen.

Bebe Moore Campbell (1950-2006) was a Black American author, co-founder of NAMI Urban Los Angeles, a national spokesperson, a journalist, teacher, and a mental health advocate who was passionate about learning, researching, and sharing the mental health needs of the Black community and underrepresented communities. At age 56, she passed away due to having brain cancer. To recognize her legacy and honor her, The U.S. House of Representatives designated July as “Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.”

For this month, we also encourage you to participate in the BIPOC MHAM. It serves to shed a light on the health disparities, bring awareness to mental illnesses, and stress the need to improve access to mental health treatment within underrepresented communities, such as Black/African Americans.

For many centuries, BIPOC individuals have experienced trauma in all aspects of their lives. BIPOC individuals are less likely to have access to health services and receive care. There are also more likely to receive poor quality health services and to end health services prematurely.

We must #TakeCareDePaul by working with one another to dismantle systems that perpetuate discrimination, work against health equity, and places blame on BIPOC communities. Learn more at mhanational. org/july.

How Can You Support?

  • Research about the health disparities in Black, Indigenous and POC communities
  • Spread awareness about the health disparities in Black, Indigenous and POC communities with your friends and family
  • Enhance public awareness of mental health and mental illness in BIPOC communities
  • Support BIPOC communities who do not have access to health care
    • Use and/or share Mental Health America’s Tools 2 Thrive, which is located in their toolkit, that serves to help better equip BIPOC communities to address their mental health.

Also, follow @HealthyDePaul and @OMSSdepaul on Instagram for more education and resources for this month.

For additional education and resources, please feel free to check out Mental Health America’s 2020 Campaign for BIPOC MHAM.  #BIPOCmentalhealthmonth

Take Care DePaul!

How to Help Someone with Anxiety or Depression During COVID-19

How to Help Someone with Anxiety or Depression During COVID-19

Article Posted on Mental Health First Aid By Rubina Kapil on March 20, 2020


 If you or someone you care about feels overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression or anxiety, or like you want to harm yourself or others call 911.

You can also contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text MHFA to 741741 to talk to a Crisis Text Line counselor.


Feeling anxiety or depression is a common reaction in times of uncertainty or when there’s a perception of danger, and the COVID-19 situation certainly qualifies as such a time. This is something new and worrying that we are all facing together.

That’s why we encourage you to use tips from Mental Health First Aid to support those around you who might be feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious or depressed. With these tips, you can #BeTheDifference for your loved ones while physical distancing and help them through this challenging time.

Use these tips from the MHFA curriculum to help someone with anxiety or depression during COVID-19:

  1. Assess for risk of suicide or harm.Identify if they’re experiencing a crisis such as a panic attack or suicidal thoughts, and address that first. It’s OK to do the assessment over the phone, text or social media. If the person’s life is in immediate danger, call 911.
  2. Listen nonjudgmentally.If the person isn’t in a crisis, ask how they’re feeling and how long they’ve been feeling that way. Pay attention and show you care.
  3. Give reassurance and information. Your support can have a huge impact on the person. Reassure them that it is appropriate to experience fear, sadness or anxiety during situations like this. Remind them that help is available, and you’ll be there for them along the way.
  4. Encourage appropriate professional help. Offer to help them find a professional for support, such as a primary care physician, mental health professional, psychiatrist or certified peer specialist. Behavioral health care providers can provide services by phone and/or secure videoconferencing, so they will be able to maintain physical distancing.
  5. Encourage self-help and other support strategies. Self-help strategies and reaching out for support from family, friends, faith communities and others who have experienced depression or anxiety (peer supporters) can make a difference.

There are other self-care strategies that can help manage symptoms of anxiety or depression, as well as self-care strategies that can help you manage your own mental health during this time. We encourage you to take a few minutes every day to focus on your mental health needs, connect with loved ones, and find support using technology. Thank you for choosing to #BeTheDifference with Mental Health First Aid.