Campus News

Support available for UK employees during Mental Health Awareness Month

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May, 17, 2024) — Nearly one in five adults in the United States has a mental health condition. Whether it is depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or another condition, few of them seek help. Despite its prevalence, mental health remains stigmatized.

“While mental health is important to address year-round, Mental Health Awareness Month is a dedicated time for us to emphasize the importance of mental health to our overall well-being,” said Jody Ensman, University of Kentucky HR Health and Wellness manager.

Mental Health Awareness Month was established in 1949 to educate, raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with mental health. Misconceptions about these conditions still often lead people to avoid seeking treatment and to feel isolated. This is a month to open discussions about the importance of mental health, reach out to those who may be struggling and encourage them to seek help. Mental health resources, including support groups, telehealth, therapists and other professionals are available.

“Here at UK, HR Health and Wellness supports employees and their families with their mental health needs,” Ensman said. “We also encourage our supervisors to recognize and respond to the mental health needs of their employees.”

“We all have times when we feel overwhelmed and depleted. In some situations, it may be clear we need support — we’ve had a major trauma or loss. Other times, it may be more difficult to figure out what’s wrong or decide whether therapy would help,” said Rhonda Henry, mental health therapist with UK HR Health and Wellness.

It is important for friends and family to understand and accept how dealing with mental health illness can impact daily life. The better they are educated, the more they can be helpful and supportive.

“Our team of therapists have collaborative, strengths-based approaches to help employees and their families in neutral, supportive spaces to process the challenge they are facing,” Henry said.

Join UK Health and Wellness for upcoming mental health events:

For additional information and resources, visit the UK HR Health and Wellness mental health page.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.