Mental Health Awareness Day

Faculty/Staff Employee Assistance

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Employee Assistance
Counseling for UC Berkeley Faculty and Staff, and Employees of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory

Phone: (510) 643-7754

University Health Services, Tang Center
2222 Bancroft Way
Suite 3100 (3rd floor)
Berkeley, CA 94720-4300

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month was established over 70 years ago to increase awareness of the importance of mental health and wellness in the U.S., and to celebrate recovery from mental illness. Mental health is essential for a person's overall health. Prevention works and the right treatment is generally effective. Successful awareness campaigns highlight the importance of mental health and promote acceptance, support, prevention, recovery, and resources for various mental health conditions. 

According to 2020 data reported by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experienced a mental illness and 1 in 20 adults in the U.S. (almost 6%) experienced a serious mental illness. Despite the prevalence of mental health challenges, the stigma tied to talking about and addressing our mental health needs is ever-present. 

Throughout the month of May, Be Well at Work will be offering faculty and staff workshops and activities aimed at understanding and supporting your mental health. On May 31st, Employee Assistance will culminate the month by hosting a Mental Health Awareness Day. 

Mental Health Awareness Day for UC Berkeley Faculty & Staff

Wednesday, May 31, 2023 // 9 am - 2 pm

On May 31, Be Well at Work Employee Assistance invites you to prioritize your mental health.

The day will include virtual workshops highlighting mental health education and wellbeing strategies, as well as in-person experiential activities aimed at caring for your mental health needs. Learn more about existing support in our community via campus and community partners. We hope you will join us!

Schedule of Events // May 31, 2023

9 - 10 am: Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace: For Supervisors & Managers (Online Webinar)

Presenter: Craig Mielcarski, Be Well at Work Employee Assistance Director

Working in a management or leadership role comes with many responsibilities, not the least of which is supporting your employees. However, when mental health challenges are disclosed or suspected based on observed behavior, managers often aren’t sure how best to respond; or whether they should respond at all. Be Well at Work Director, Craig Mielcarski has worked at the intersection of mental health and the workplace for over 25 years. During this live webinar, he will share observations, common misconceptions, and useful strategies related to mental health in the workplace while also discussing how to support individuals and teams in order to provide support, maintain boundaries, and still focus on getting the work done. Bring your questions! Through a predominantly question-and-answer format, this session is an opportunity for managers and supervisors to get their questions answered, and also learn from each other. 


10 -10:45 am: Assessing and Addressing Your Mental Health (Online Webinar)

Presenter: Elliott DiTusa, LPCC, BWAW Employee Assistance Counselor

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It is a major component of how we feel and can influence how we think, act, and relate to others. While many of us may be aware of the importance of our mental health, it can oftentimes be ignored, unaddressed, or not talked about. In the spirit of Mental Health Awareness Month, this workshop will provide information on common symptoms and behaviors related to mental health that can assist us in self-assessing our own mental health. It will also introduce various ways to support and prioritize our mental health and discuss barriers, such as stigma, that might prevent us from taking healthy actions.


11:00 am - 1:00 pmTabling Event (In-Person Only)

Presenters: Be Well at Work programs, plus more!

Location: Staff Community Garden (located outside of Li Ka Shing, Mulford, Morgan, and Genetics & Plant Biology)

Join Be Well at Work for an in-person tabling event to learn about resources available to you as a UC Berkeley employee.

11:30 am - NoonWalking Meditation: Using Nature to Boost Your Mood (In-Person Only)

Presenter: Natasha Boissier, LCSW, BWAW Elder Care Counselor
Location: Staff Community Garden (located outside of Li Ka Shing, Mulford, Morgan, and Genetics & Plant Biology)

Walking meditation is a type of mindfulness practice that uses nature and quiet movement to develop calm and enhance connectedness to one’s self and one’s surroundings. We chose to highlight this type of meditation as it offers a user-friendly approach to resetting the nervous system and can be practiced during everyday moments. You do not need any prior meditation experience.


12:15 - 12:45 pmSimple Practices for a Calmer Mind: Breathing and Grounding Techniques (In-person Only)

Presenter: Julie Resnik, LCSW, BWAW Employee Assistance Counselor

Location: Staff Community Garden (located outside of Li Ka Shing, Mulford, Morgan, and Genetics & Plant Biology)

Research shows that on an average day, an adult has 6,000 thoughts - about six per waking minute. Many of us struggle with anxious thoughts, rumination, or feel easily distracted during the day. Grounding and breathing exercises bring focus to the present moment and awareness to our senses. In this workshop, participants will practice different techniques to calm their bodies and minds by taking part in guided breathwork, gentle stretching, and light movement.


1 - 2 pm: Self-Compassionate Strategies for Coping with Anxiety and Depression (Online Webinar)

Presenter: Kiran Johl, LCSW, BWAW Employee Assistance Counselor

When a loved one is feeling anxious or depressed, we often extend them gentle words of kindness and support. Yet, when we are experiencing those same feelings, we do not always show ourselves the same compassion. While self-criticism, judgment, and frustration are common feelings when coping with anxiety and depression, they can also contribute to increased isolation, stagnation, and stronger negative emotions. This workshop will cover how to become more aware of self-talk, how to improve self-compassion, and how to view ourselves in a more positive light.


Additional BWAW Mental Health Events in May

Download the flyers