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). 




Mental Health Support in AAPI Communities

In May we celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month, a time where we raise awareness of the toll mental health can have and the many stigmas associated with mental health among many other mental health-related aspects. Through social media campaigns, events and even screenings, organisations across the United States participate in providing key resources for something that affects us all. In that same breath, just as many organisations come together during May to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The contributions and influence that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made in the U.S. are highlighted and acknowledged. That is why it is only fitting that the intersection between these two is recognised.

While the U.S. categorises many into the term AAPI, we understand and recognise that encompassed within are a wide range of unique and diverse identities, countries, nationalities, and ethnicities. Many who have not only experienced great joy and achievement but unfortunately have also experienced a variety of different challenges, struggles, and trauma. Through the perpetuated model minority myth, various microaggressions, and physical violence, AAPI communities have been and continue to be unjustly treated.

Before we can dive deep into ways to support and resources, understanding barriers to support is the first step as we seek to overcome them. While there are a few, there is still very limited knowledge about AAPI mental health as a result of limited studies which have included individuals from AAPI Communities. “According to SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, serious mental illness (SMI) rose from 2.9 per cent (47,000) to 5.6 per cent (136,000) in AAPI people ages 18-25 between 2008 and 2018.” (

Many young Asian Americans do not seek professional help for their mental concern but rather they turn to their networks. Another thing we see is the lack of awareness for resources along with the still existing stigma around mental health within AAPI communities. This could be considered one of the biggest deterrents for seeking professional help. Other factors include cultural identity, faith, language barriers, and access to insurance and healthcare.

Firstly, as an ally allowing members of the AAPI communities to take charge in spaces and conversations relating to issues they are facing is a major facet of support. Lettings their voices to be the ones heard and amplifying them are good ways to start. Being mindful of language and phrases used when speaking about or addressing members of AAPI communities is also important. Ensuring that stigmatising or stereotypical words are not used and accepting correction can go a long way; again listen to what members of the communities are saying. Additionally don’t be afraid to reach out and show solidarity and support. Check-in and provide resources when you come across them. This goes back to the conversation about de-stigmatisation of mental health issues, show you care with a listening ear (if you have the bandwidth to do so!). Lastly, simply asking, “how can I support you” allow whoever it is to be in charge of the way they receive support. Do they need you to just be that listening ear? Do they just want a space to talk through things and need resources to do so? The answer only comes when you respect their dignity and ask.

For those seeking resources whether for themselves or others, here are some both on and off-campus.

Some resources at DePaul include the APIDA Cultural Center within the Office of Multicultural Student Success, the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness, and University Counselling services.

Off-campus, the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum is focused is improving health among Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. The National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association has a wealth of resources including a directory of mental health service providers for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders as does which is a directory of South Asian therapists of various heritages. The University of Connecticut’s Asian and Asian American Studies Institute partnered with the #IAMNOTAVIRUS campaign and the Asian American Literary Review to provide a Mental Health Workbook that includes literature, journals, and lots more resources to support Asian American mental health.

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 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!