Go Green in May for Mental Health Awareness

Katerina Katramadou, Staff Reporter

The United States has celebrated Mental Health Awareness Month in May since 1949 and observes it through media and local events, including those at universities, colleges and other schools.

What is Mental Health? 

Mental health involves emotional, psychological and social well–being and influences how we think, feel and act. Moreover, it helps people determine how to handle their stress or build their resilience to avoid being overwhelmed by stressful times. 

Mental health refers to thoughts and feelings and the capability to solve problems and overcome obstacles as well as relationships with others and the comprehension of the world around us. 

 “There is no health without mental health,“  the World Health Organization says. 

Everyone will struggle with mental well-being. All people face different problems in their routine about their jobs, communicating with others or working in their studies. Mental Health is important from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.  

Mental health is sometimes confused with mental illness. Mental health is the state of a person’s mind, feelings and emotions. In contrast, mental illness is a wide range of conditions that affect mood, thinking and behavior, including anxiety disorders, depression, eating disorders, addiction and schizophrenia.

Mental health issues are common, but help is available. With professional support and help, anyone can live well, find meaning, contribute to society and work toward their objectives. People with mental health problems can get better, and many recover completely. Ways to maintain positive mental health include getting professional help when needed, connecting with others, staying positive, getting physically active, getting enough sleep, developing coping skills and helping others. 

College Students and Mental Health

Many college students suffer from mental health difficulties that interfere with their studies. Most mental health issues in college students are established by their early twenties. 

Some students have the stress of separation from family during their studies. Others face problems of depression because of growing up in abusive homes, having a long-term illness, long -term stress, drug abuse and poverty as well as lifestyle factors like diet or lack of sleep. 


The CLC Counseling and Psychological Services, or CAPS, team provides an array of educational mental health services for each CLC student, supporting their academic and personal success. 

 “Many students are struggling with anxiety, low mood and general stress,” CAPS Director Nika Winiarski said. “Therapy allows individuals to slow down, problem-solve, and reflect on change in a safe, supportive and collaborative space.”

Every year, the college with CAPS organizes events to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month. 

 “One of the activities CAPS has planned is the Message Wall,” Winiarski said. “Through this outreach effort, we are hoping to engage the CLC community in generating supportive messaging about health. We are hopeful that these messages will empower our community and will unite us in a common narrative around the importance of supporting one another’s mental health.

“Everyone is welcome to participate, and you can leave as many messages on the wall as you like.”  

CAPS also is co-sponsors events with other organisations One example isa May 3 co-presentation with Students Health and Wellness on harnessing the mind- body connection to manage finals anxiety.

On May 1, CAPS also presented on embracing the cultural heritage of yoga and May 4 hosted the Final Pause for Wellness of this academic year.

Going Green for Mental Health

The color of Mental Health Awareness Month is green, and the green ribbon is its international symbol. It’s thus time to go green and go to the Message Wall in the B-Court of the Grayslake Campus to write a message. Our messages will give inspiration to the CLC community for the best support of mental wellness.