President Jerome Comments on Mental Illness Awareness Week

Earlier today, President Jerome shared a powerful message with the College community in keeping with Mental Illness Awareness Week, which started on October 3rd.

His email is shared below.

Sunday marked the first day of Mental Illness Awareness Week, an annual event designed to raise awareness for mental health and garner support for those who are struggling with their mental well-being. Equally important, it’s an opportunity to remind people that help is available and where to find it.

As a community, it’s important that we talk openly about mental health issues and encourage each other to reach out for help when needed.

The last year and a half has been particularly challenging for many of us. The isolation, stress, fear, and loss stemming from the global pandemic have been exceptionally taxing. It’s only natural to feel overwhelmed and exhausted at times by this “new normal” that feels anything but ordinary.

You may not even be fully aware of the signs your body is telling you that your mind is not at ease. Maybe you’re not sleeping as soundly as you once did. Perhaps you are feeling anxious or sad but can’t pinpoint the reason.

If that sounds familiar, I hope you will raise your hand and ask for help. It takes a strong person to know when they need to talk with someone. There are community resources available to help students, staff, and faculty free of charge. HR will gladly direct you.

As well, we have two excellent therapists available to help our students. They are both wonderful listeners and experienced counselors. Students simply need to fill out (our Counseling Request and Consent form) to get started. They may also reach out to them directly with questions: Jessica Pollas ( and Nygera S. Pierson Mutis (

According to NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in 20 U.S. adults experience a mental illness each year, but less than two-thirds get treatment. If you are struggling, please don’t be among those who suffer in silence. Let someone help you.

Please take care of yourself and those around you. We’re all in this together.