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

"Mental Health Awareness Day" text on a blue gradient background

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 May, Be Well at Work will be offering faculty and staff workshops and activities aimed at understanding and supporting your mental health. On May 1st, Employee Assistance will kick off the month by hosting a Mental Health Awareness Day. 

Mental Health Awareness Day for Faculty & Staff

Wednesday, May 1, 2024 // 9 am - 2:30 pm

On May 1st, 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 1st, 2024

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 - Employee Assistance is uniquely positioned to help managers and supervisors navigate the intersection of mental health and the workplace. During this live webinar, we will share observations, common misconceptions, and useful strategies related to mental health in the workplace while also discussing how to support individuals and teams 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 learn from each other.

Zoom Link

10:30 am -11:15 am: (Re)Starting Your Journaling Practice (Hybrid Event)

Presenter: Kiran Johl, LCSW, Be Well at Work Employee Assistance Counselor  

Journaling is a great opportunity to introspect, self-reflect, gain awareness of our emotional and thought patterns, and independently solve problems. Yet, many times, it is difficult to get started or restart with a journaling practice- do I just start writing? How will I feel if I read it later? Do I have to write in a notebook or is typing in my phone the same thing? This workshop will help answer these questions, offering education about the benefits of journaling for our mental health, different types of journaling, and example prompts to get you started. The second half of the workshop will be devoted to starting your journaling practice, and in-person participants will receive a complimentary journal! This workshop welcomes those with any and all levels of journaling experience.   

Zoom Link

In-Person Location: Class of 42', University Health Services

11:30 am - 1:00 pmTabling Event (In-Person Only)

Presenters: Be Well at Work programs, pet hugs, and 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, Be Well at Work 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 pm:  Gentle Yoga Flow for Relaxation (In-person Only)*

Presenter: Carla Jackson, MPH, Worksite Wellness Specialist

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

Join us for a gentle yoga session, suitable for all! This moving meditation includes gentle yoga poses that will flow from one pose to the next, connecting breath and body and allowing the mind and body to relax. You may bring a mat, towel or blanket if you wish, as the session will be held on the grass. 


1 - 2 pm: Maintaining Mental Wellness at Work (Online Webinar)

Presenter: Elliott DiTusa, LPCC, Be Well at Work Employee Assistance Counselor

It’s no surprise that our work can impact our mental health, and our mental health can impact our work. At times, this relationship between work and our personal wellness can become strained. So, in those moments, what strategies can we use to continue caring for ourselves while also staying present and professional at work? In this workshop, we’ll discuss four strategies that can be helpful- setting boundaries, assertive communication, emotion regulation, and creating healthy rituals at work. This workshop is most appropriate for those newer to their mental health journey, or those who appreciate a refresher course.

Zoom Link

2 pm - 2:30 pm: In the Absence of Fear, Love Settles in: Unifying Body, Mind and Feelings with Breema (Online)*

Presenter: Angela Porter, MFT, CATC, CMT

Fear, anxiety, and criticism are forms of psychological and emotional tension that steal our energy, and depress our relationship with life. One antidote for this is simple. As soon as we see we are in a critical state, we can stop fighting with ourselves and come to a more inclusive dimension of experience by using our breath and weight to come to the body. Once body and mind are working together, our relationship with life changes: instead of trying to get rid of, or change a temporary state, we can see that while we are in a state, we are not that state and can therefore begin to relate to it differently, with more acceptance and less judgment. This saves a lot of our energy and allows us to be more available to life. Join us for this experiential class where we will learn to slow down and connect using simple Breema self-care exercises and principles in moving meditation practice for unifying and balancing the energies of body, mind, and feelings. We hope to see you here. Please come comfortably dressed and prepared for a light movement activity.

Zoom Link

*Please note these schedule changes

Additional BWAW Mental Health Events in May

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