Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Because we honor everyone, this work is for everyone.
MACC is a place where all belong.
Diversity fuels the MACC spirit empowering people in our inclusive community.
We celebrate the uniqueness of each individual and multiple points of view.
Be who you are.
We like it that way.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so this newsletter is dedicated to raising awareness of mental health. Our efforts will focus on education of mental health challenges, and offering support options.
Mental Health Overview
Mental health refers to psychological, emotional, and social well-being. It is just as vital as physical health, and the two are often related. It is important to recognize that mental health can change over time because it is a product of a continual interaction of biological, behavioral, cognitive, developmental, social, and cultural factors.
Paying attention to your mental health is a good way to gauge next steps. Below are some mental health self–care tips to help manage stress, lower risk of illness, and increase energy.
- Get regular exercise
- Eat healthy, regular meals and stay hydrated
- Make sleep a priority
- Set goals and priorities
- Practice gratitude
- Focus on positivity
- Stay socially connected
- Develop a sense of meaning and purpose in life
- Develop coping skills
Check out the following link for 31 Tips to Boost Your Mental Health:
Mental Health Conditions
When a person is struggling with mental health, they may develop a mental health condition that affects their thoughts, feelings, and actions. These conditions may impact day-to-day living, how we handle stress, and our ability to relate to others. Trauma, abuse, medical conditions, chemical imbalances, alcohol and drug use, and feelings of loneliness or isolation are some factors that may contribute to mental illness.
Prevalence of Mental Health Conditions
Are you aware that 21% of adults experience a mental illness each year? Multiracial and LGBTQIA+ people experience the highest rates.
- 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 3 young adults (aged 18–25) in the U.S. experienced a mental illness.
- 1 in 15 adults experienced both a substance abuse disorder and a mental illness.
- 12+ million adults, 3.8 million young adults, and 3 million adolescents had serious
thoughts of suicide.
- 1 in 6 adolescents (aged 12–17) experienced a major depressive episode.
Symptoms of Mental Health Conditions
Mental health conditions can vary in severity, symptoms, and onset. Some common condi-
tions include Anxiety, Depression, Panic Disorders, ADHD, Post–Traumatic Stress Disorder
(PTSD), Personality Disorders, Eating Disorders, Sleep Disorders, and Addiction & Sub-
stance Abuse Disorders.
Common signs of a mental health condition can include the following:
• Excessive worry or fear
• Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning
• Extreme mood changes
• Avoiding friends and social activities and difficulties relating to other people
• Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy
• Changes in eating habits
• Overuse of substances like alcohol or drugs
• Physical ailments without obvious causes
Mental Health Treatment
Only 45% of adults who experience a mental illness each year get treatment. Asian, Black, Hispanic, and multiracial people are less likely than Whites to receive therapy, medication, or self-care. This could be explained by access to mental health services, cul-tural stigma surrounding mental health, discrimination, or a lack of awareness about men-tal health.
Let’s work together to encourage those who are struggling with their mental health to seek out treatment without judgement or prejudice. Show compassion and empathy, make con-nections with those around you, and start a conversation about treatment options, like in-dividual or group therapy and prescription medicine. These are available to help under-stand and cope with thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
Where To Get Help
Mental health professionals can often help people reduce symptoms and develop better ways of thinking, feeling, and living. There are a number of professionals who can help: Psychologists, Counselors, Clinicians, Therapists, Clinical Social Workers, Psychiatrists, Nurse Practitioners, and Primary Care Physicians. Reach out to your health insurance, primary care doctor or state/county mental health authority for more resources.
You can also contact the NAMI HelpLine to find out what services and supports are avail-able in your community.
Learn More – Resources
H&H Associates Student Assistance Program:
National Alliance on Mental Illness:
National Institute of Mental Health:
Mental Health Disparities: Diverse Populations:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
~ Stephanie Hills, DEI Ambassador
The topic of mental health has been stigmatized for a long time, but almost everyone experiences challenges in life at one time or another that can negatively affect our mental health (Beckjord). As college students, we know all about stress. From doing homework and studying for exams, to filling out FAFSA forms and applications, it seems there is always something more that needs done. A lot of us are also familiar with having more responsibilities than those that are related to school as well. When adding in parental pressure, employment, children, spouses, etc., we potentially have stress from all angles at times. Although there is such a thing as positive stress, too much stress can cause numerous issues. Long-term stress can lead to problems with sleep, both physical and mental health concerns, cognitive issues like forgetfulness and being unable to focus, and dietary changes like eating too much or too little- just to name a few. When it comes to ways to handle stress effectively, there are a few differ-ent options. As Dr. Mohd Abdullah found in his research on coping strategies among college students, “prayer, meditation, and sleep are highly effective coping mecha-nisms for students with academic stress”(Abdullah et al. 4). If able to do so, therapy or counseling services can be beneficial. There are some other alternatives as well such as no-cost virtual groups, relaxation techniques at home, and trying out new coping techniques such as grounding exercises and breathwork, or implementing a new exer-cise program like yoga or meditation. What works to reduce stress for some, might not work for others, so be sure to try out different things to find what works best for you.
If you are interested in additional assistance, MACC also offers a Student Assistance Program that is specifically designed to help students with personal or student/life bal-ance issues (MACC SAP). For more information, click this link, https://www.macc.edu/student-assistance-program/, or reach out to our Dean of Student Affairs and Enroll-ment Management, Michele McCall, at 660-263-4100 ext. 11215.
Abdullah, Mohd Zulkifli, et al. “Assessing Mental Well-Being among University Stu-dents: Factors Associated and Coping Strategies.”
Global Business & Management Research, vol. 14, July 2022, pp. 155–72. EBSCO-host,
Beckjord, Ellen. “Contributor: Covid-19 and Stigma about Mental Health-a Pandemic Silver Lining?” AJMC, AJMC, 14 Oct. 2022,
“Student Assistance Program.” MACC, 25 Mar. 2022,