Mental health literacy becomes a common topic of conversation at the University of Georgia thanks, in part, to the efforts of a public relations campaign to decrease the stigma surrounding emotional suffering on campus. The campaign, Know the Five UGA, has worked in combination with several student organizations, including the Student Government Association and the Public Relations Student Society of America—Drewry Chapter. Together, they have collected more than 500 pledges, gathered a robust social media following and hosted several successful campus events since launching on February 15.
Their benefit concert alone, “Nuçi’s Knows the Five”, held February 28 at Nuçi’s Space attracted nearly a hundred attendees and raised $525 for mental health awareness. Featuring live performances by local artists Son and Thief, Hill Elliott and Tommy Trautwein, the event created an open, positive dialogue about mental health in the local community through music.
“The concert was so fun,” said Hill Elliott, 21, of Roswell, Georgia. “I can always get behind performing for people when I see eye-to-eye with everyone in the room about a certain issue. In this case, we all shared a focus on raising awareness for mental health. It just felt right.”
Concert attendee, Bailey Smith, 21, of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, said, “Combining a concert and a social issue was a great way to make it easy to talk about a difficult topic.”
Know the Five UGA believes that understanding the five signs of emotional suffering—personality change, agitation, withdrawal, poor self-care, and hopelessness—is an important first step in mental health literacy. With this knowledge, people can help prevent pain and suffering and get those in need the help they deserve.
“Our emotional well-being should be valued just as much as our physical well-being,” said Jordan Calhoun, 22, of Kennesaw, Georgia, and one of the coordinators for Know the Five. “Sometimes the battle for mental health awareness can feel like a losing one. Our concert proved to me that people care about breaking the stigma surrounding mental illness and want to learn how to better care for themselves and their friends. Seeing people care about the five is nothing short of humbling, inspiring and encouraging.”
Know the Five UGA encourages everyone to take the next step in becoming an advocate for mental health. Sign the pledge to know the five signs online at knowthefiveuga.com.
Know the Five UGA is a student-run, independently organized campaign benefitting the Campaign to Change Direction. The campaign’s goal is to raise awareness of the five signs of emotional suffering and increase mental health literacy within the Athens-Clarke County community. For more information: please visit knowthefiveuga.com or email knowthefiveUGA@gmail.com.
The UGA Know the Five campaign earned an Honorable Mention by PRSSA National.
March 10, 2017 Author:
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