McDowell Institute helps erase stigma

For Immediate Release:  Oct. 3, 2016

BLOOMSBURG— Out of 10 individuals who have a mental health disorder, only three will seek help.

Featured speakers Tamia Govan and Drew Bergman from Minding Your Mind will discuss their experiences with mental health during a program at Bloomsburg University on Friday, Oct. 14, from 2 to 4 p.m. in Haas Center for the Arts. Presented by the McDowell Institute for Teacher Excellence in Positive Behavior Support, the talk is free and open to the public.

Bergman suffered from depression as a teenager which led to self-harming. It was not until his second attempt at suicide that he decided to discuss his battle with depression while performing as an athlete and a solid student. He was the 2014 recipient of the Need in Deed Community Partner Award for connecting the classroom with his community, a presenter at the national Students Against Destructive Decisions conference, and one of the keynote speakers at the Pennsylvania State Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Conference. Bergman is a junior at Drexel University, majoring in business marketing.

Abandoned at the age of 2, Govan was adopted by a stable family but did not feel as if she belonged. In her quest for acceptance, she poured all of her energy into academics and was in the top 5 percent of her graduating class. She was voted class president, selected for the homecoming court, and excelled in athletics. Govan’s depressive symptoms grew worse when she entered college, and after a failed attempt to end her life, she got help. With talk therapy and medication, she found her way out of depression.

The presentation is one of several events happening during Mental Health Awareness Week, presented by the McDowell Institute. Pet therapy will take place on Thursday, Oct. 13, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Warren Student Services Center and mental health promotion displays stationed outside Kehr Union and Warren Student Services Center Thursday and Friday, Oct. 13 and 14, from 9 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 10,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.