Marshall aims to combat mental health stigmas


The Counceling Center began its “We Are…Here For You” in order to combat negative stigmas and stereotypes surrounding mental health.

College students may face stressors that can leave their mental health at risk, but Marshall University has kickstarted new initiatives to help combat the issues and put students’ minds at ease.

Marshall’s Counseling Center began their “We Are… Here for You” campaign last semester in order to end the stigma on mental health needs and assist students through a variety of therapeutic resources.

The initiative was started by Counseling Center director Candace D. Layne. She said the Counseling Center staff wanted students to “know that reaching out can be a relief and that it is important to seek help when needed.”

Layne said the campaign has received positive feedback from students and has received public support from the Student Government Association and the general student body.

Doyle Collins, a senior cultural anthropology major who has recently began using Marshall’s mental health services, said he is happy about the campaigns on campus.

“Mental health problems can be just as debilitating as physical health problems and need to be treated just as seriously,” Collins said.

Another new campaign highlighting mental health at Marshall is “Humans of Marshall.” The campaign seeks to encourage empathy and increase mental health awareness.

SGA Press Secretary Caroline Kimbro, a senior public relations major, said the campaign launched Feb. 4.

It was the brain-child of Student Body President Hunter Barclay and two of his cabinet members, Will Sheils and Jack Victory. 

“Even a small step towards care can make a big difference,” Kimbro said. 

Kimbro said the campaign hopes to change the way students view their mental health and encourage them to seek out help and know their resources.

Both campaigns are working toward erasing the stigma behind mental health and making mental health services more accessible to students. 

Although both campaigns are relatively new, student support has shown positive feedback as Layne said the usage of the Counseling Center is increasing, as it has for the last five years. 

As the university backs these initiatives and students begin to talk more about their mental health struggles, Marshall is seeing an increase in understanding and connectivity.

“The professors, as well, have been great at understanding,” said Katelynn Laslo, a sophomore psychology major “It’s an all-around great program.”

Neither campaign currently has plans for expansion, but they will continue to normalize mental health issues and encourage student health services for anyone needing support. 

For further information on the “We Are… Here for You” campaign students may contact Candace Layne at [email protected] or visit the booth in the Memorial Student Center this week.

For further information on “Humans of Marshall” students can find the campaign on Instagram @humansofmarshallu or contact Caroline Kimbro at [email protected].

Makaylah Wheeler can be contacted at [email protected].