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Chancellor invites campus community to series of January events promoting mental health and well-being

Jan. 12, 2017, 8:45 AM

Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos (Vanderbilt University)

Vanderbilt faculty, staff and students are invited to attend a series of January events designed to further conversations around healthy help-seeking behavior and creating a culture in which the stigma of seeking support can be eradicated.

“Mental health, wellness and how we care for ourselves and one another are among the most important factors that define who we are as a community. We are planning boldly and with great sensitivity to ensure that our learning environment is built on a foundation of acceptance, and anchored by deep and broad resources, in order to nurture and strengthen Vanderbilt’s culture of inclusion that provides opportunities for each member of our university to fulfill their highest level of potential,” Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos said.

go_there_graphicThe Chancellor’s Strategic Planning Committee on Mental Health and Wellbeing is taking a broad look at how best to position Vanderbilt for success in this area in the coming years. To that end, the committee will explore numerous issues related to and that can impact mental health, including but not limited to mental illness, neurodiversity, stress management, self-care, healthy relationships, self-esteem, sexual violence, trauma and academic pressures. The committee also is considering the role that race, cultural identity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, religion, socioeconomic status and other factors play in mental health issues and access to care. A website dedicated to mental health and well-being has been created and points to current resources available to the campus community.

Thursday, Jan. 26

Community Town Hall with Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos

The chancellor will host a campus discussion on mental health open to the entire Vanderbilt community. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about current campus initiatives and programs, hear from faculty working in the field, get an update from the chancellor’s strategic planning committee, and submit suggestions to make Vanderbilt a happier and healthier campus with regard to mental health and wellness. The event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon in the Vanderbilt Student Life Center Board of Trust Room.

Friday, Jan. 27

Mental Health and Well-being Campaign Kickoff Event

The university will officially kick off “GO THERE,” a campuswide campaign to promote brave dialogue and honest self-reflection toward creating a campus culture that invests in and supports the mental health and wholeness of every member of the Vanderbilt community. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend the event scheduled from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Life Center ballroom. The event will feature information about campus resources, free giveaways, live music, door prizes, therapy animals, demonstrations, and light food and refreshments.

Tuesday, Jan. 31

Chancellor’s Lecture Series with Kay Redfield Jamison

  • 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Book signing and reception
  • 6:30-7:30 p.m.  – Lecture

Noted clinical psychologist and writer Kay Redfield Jamison will give a talk Tuesday, Jan. 31, as part of the Chancellor’s Lecture Series. Tickets for the event are available at the Sarratt Box Office.

Jamison’s work has centered on bipolar disorder, which she has had since her early adulthood. She is the author of national best-sellers An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness, Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide, and Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament. Her latest book, set to be released in February, Robert Lowell: Setting the River on Fire, is about one of the major American poets of the 20th century and at the same time represents a fascinating study of the relationship between manic-depressive (bipolar) illness, creative genius and character.

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