National Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, a time when we recognize how mental health impacts our families, our communities, and ourselves. While many wait until mental health becomes an issue to pay attention to it, being proactive about taking care of your mental health is always your best option.

This month, we talk about mental health counseling, and how seeking support through counseling can have a positive impact on your wellbeing.










Unfortunately, when most people hear the term “counseling” they think of an individual with serious mental issues lying on a couch and talking about their dreams. In reality, mental health counseling is a process that has helped countless people live their best lives, by providing them an environment in which they can process their thoughts and emotions.

Student Advocate

As a Student Advocate, Johnny Barner has seen, and heard, a lot. When any member of the Ashford community is in a situation where their immediate safety or welfare is compromised, an advisor can refer them to the Student Advocate HELPline, which:

  • provides short-term de-escalation
  • offers assessment and support to the student who is experiencing emotional distress
  • connects the student to resources in his/her local area
  • addresses the educational impact of situational stressors
  • works to develop an action plan with the student

When a student is referred and connected with the Student Advocate HELPline, Johnny Barner is one of the first to answer. In the 4 years he’s worked at Ashford, he’s assisted students dealing with any number of personal issues. As a Student Advocate, he’s well familiar with the positive impact mental health counseling can have, “I think counseling is useful because it gives people a place where they can safely go and share their real concerns without feeling judged.”

Find Out More

If you are interested in mental health counseling, check with your insurance provider to see what options are available to you. You can also visit Every day thousands of people across North America turn to 2-1-1 for information and support, whether it’s financial, domestic, health or disaster related. 2-1-1 is a free, confidential referral and information hotline. You might also want to print out this resource sheet provided by Ashford University.

Written by: Samuel Harvey

Sam is the Content Specialist for the Office of Student Access and Wellness at Ashford University.

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