Mental Health Initiative Kickoff Event
May 23, 2022
Dear AUC Community,
Mental health and wellbeing are critically important for our campus community. Before the global pandemic, studies have shown a considerable increase in mental health challenges throughout the world, and the need to address mental health has especially been a growing trend in universities. Statistically, one in four of us faces mental health challenges and all of us are impacted in one way or another either personally or through family and friends. In the last two years, COVID-19 severely impacted the mental health of university students and communities and raised our awareness of the need to address these challenges.
To help ensure that our University has the culture and mechanisms to address these needs, I am announcing a Mental Health and Wellbeing Initiative. We will kick off the initiative with a workshop to identify areas on which we should focus in the coming academic year. The workshop, Mental Health and Wellbeing: Trends, Effective Intervention and a Culture of Care, will be held on Sunday, May 29 at 1 pm at the Moataz Al Alfi Hall and virtually through this link.
Dr. Hania Sholkamy, Associate Professor at AUC’s Social Research Center will facilitate the session, featuring Dr. Nasser Loza, President of the World Federation for Mental Health and Director of the Behman Hospital and Fayrouz Ibrahim, Social Researcher and AUC Anthropology and Economics program alumna and graduate student in the Anthropology and Sociology program. From current trends and new challenges to ending stigma and finding community solutions, the interactive workshop invites the audience to share insights. The purpose of the workshop is to start a conversation and brainstorm together areas on which we need to focus.
In addition, I will be forming a Mental Health and Wellness Task Force to evaluate our current campus environment and offer recommendations on how to ensure that our campus culture destigmatizes mental health issues, promotes and supports mental health and well-being for all community members, enhance and institutionalize our mental health services and response systems, and strengthen our ability to support each other.
While I recognize that this is a busy time for the campus as we are nearing the end of the year, mental health is a topic that should not wait until we reconvene in the fall.
I look forward to seeing you in person or virtually on Sunday at 1 pm. Meanwhile, I welcome your thoughts and suggestions.