UW Combined Fund Drive

April 29, 2021

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

If you struggle with mental illness, you are not alone.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that about 1 in 5 American adults struggle with a form of mental illness, while 1 in 6 American youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year.

During May, we encourage you to find ways to engage in activities and events that help start conversations about mental health in your communities:

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and people of all ages and all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds experience depression. The good news is that there are many resources to manage depression: therapy, medication, and self-care are all part of a healthy treatment plan.

Don’t be afraid to reach out if you or someone you know needs help. Learning all you can about mental health is an important first step.


Learn the Signs for Suicide Risk

If you are concerned about someone, take it seriously. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255), text the Crisis Text Line at 741741 with the name of the person you are concerned about, or call 911 if the situation presents immediate danger.

  • Talking about feeling trapped or wanting to escape
  • Talking about wanting to die
  • Showing anger or irritability
  • Becoming isolated and withdrawn
  • Feelings of being a burden to others
  • Increasing sleep difficulties
  • No interest in favorite things

UW Forefront Suicide Prevention is focused on reducing suicide by empowering individuals and communities to take sustainable action, championing systemic change, and restoring hope.

Reaching out for help for yourself or someone you care about may be uncomfortable, but it has the potential to save a life.

Check In With Yourself and Others

Remember to check in with yourself and those around you. Pay attention to changes in daily behavior and personality, as this may be an indicator of a shift in an individual’s mental health. Take your time to love yourself and don’t feel guilty for spending time to heal and replenish yourself.

If you are worried about yourself or someone else, see a professional, learn more about mental illness or call the NAMI HelpLine at 800-950-NAMI (6264).

UW Services for Mental Health & Wellness

Due to the pandemic, many mental health services have shifted from in-person to virtual. Although this may seem daunting, there are positive aspects to this adjustment. Those in crisis can quickly access virtual care. Therapists now lead sessions through video calls, allowing their clients to curl up in bed and cuddle with their pets while speaking vulnerably.

Students: In response to the rising prevalence of mental health concerns among students, Student Life has led a multi-year collaborative effort to increase access to timely help and critical resources through a single, streamlined online student wellness portal: Husky Health & Well-Being.

Staff & Faculty: a variety of mental health and wellness programs and services are available for the UW community:

  • UW CareLink connects you with experts who help you or your family members navigate life’s challenges in a free and confidential setting and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 866-598-3978.
  • The Whole U is UW’s workplace wellness program, providing programs and resources for health, wellness and mindfulness.
    • The May Meditation Series is a weekly program throughout Mental Health Month exploring the foundational elements of meditation, creating a safe space to practice, and cultivating a personal meditation practice. This course is an ideal entry point for anyone who has an interest in practicing meditation in a relaxed, no-pressure environment. Register here.
  • UW Spiritual Care offers culturally sensitive emotional and spiritual support, regardless of religion, faith, or spiritual tradition.
  • UW SafeCampus is a violence-prevention and response program supporting students, staff, faculty and community members. Call 206-685-7233 24/7 to anonymously discuss safety and well-being concerns for yourself or others.

How you can help

The UW Combined Fund Drive is proud to partner with many nonprofit organizations that provide resources for mental health support and awareness. Consider setting up payroll deduction or making a one-time gift through your MyCFD account to the following organizations:

FREE2LUV is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering, uplifting, and saving the lives of youth through the arts.

Harborview Mental Health Services: Mental Health and Addictions Services (HMHAS) at Harborview provides integrated mental health and chemical dependency services in an outpatient setting. Services include crisis intervention, psychiatric evaluation, psychotherapy, group treatment, case management, and geriatric psychiatry services, as well as treatment for individuals for co-occurring chemical dependency and mental health disorders and patients with comorbid medical issues.

LifeWire is on a mission to end domestic violence and create a world where every person lives in a safe environment, free from oppression and with the opportunity to thrive.

NAMI started as a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table in 1979 and has blossomed into the nation’s leading voice on mental health. Today, we are an association of more than 500 local affiliates who work in your community to raise awareness and provide support and education that was not previously available to those in need.

Recovery Café was founded on the knowledge that every human being is precious and beloved regardless of past trauma, mental and emotional anguish, addictive behaviors or mistakes made.

UW Counseling Center and Hall Health Mental Health provides mental health counseling, outreach, prevention programming, and crisis intervention for enrolled students at no financial charge.  Our goal is to reduce the likelihood that a student will not succeed academically or professionally due to life events or circumstances.  The Counseling Center also provides consultation for parents, faculty, staff, and students who are concerned about the well-being of a UW student.

UW Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences has more than 1,000 faculty, staff, and trainees, our department serves a five-state region known as WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho). We are dedicated to improving the health of the public through research and discovery, training the next generation of health professionals and researchers, and improving the lives of individuals and populations.