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May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May 03, 2023

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to raise understanding of mental health conditions and the impact they have on the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of children, families, and communities. Penn’s personal development programs and supportive benefits are available year-round to Penn faculty and staff. Our schedule of work-life and wellness events serves as a reminder of the University’s comprehensive, proactive approach to emotional well-being and behavioral health care access.

Here are a few highlighted events and resources to help you take action to enhance your own emotional well-being and support your family, friends and colleagues.

Mental Health and Me
May 9, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

This program is an opportunity to take time to reflect, understand and explore how to care for your own mental and emotional well-being. It is important to prioritize your own health before you can support and help others.

In this webinar, you will explore strategies to manage mental/emotional health as well as utilize available resources to help. The program will also take a look at early warnings signs to seek help and techniques to maintain positive mental health and wellness.

Mindfulness and Anxiety: Turn Your Anxiety into Your Superpower
May 11, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

Mindfulness leader Jennifer Schelter teaches three simple ways to turn anxiety into courage. In the virtual workshop you will practice mindfulness meditation, journal and set intentions for focus, and create a growth mindset.

Monthly Wellness Walk: Mental Health Awareness Month
May 17, Meet at 12 p.m.

Meet the team at 12 p.m. on Locust Walk, by College Hall and the Ben Franklin statue. The Penn Public Health team will lead you on a two-mile walk on/near campus to help you increase physical activity and steps, plus build community with participating Penn staff and faculty. Be sure to wear sneakers or comfortable shoes, bring water, and invite a colleague to join the celebration. To support Mental Health Awareness Month, you are encouraged to wear green.

Finding Balance in Busy Lives
May 23, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Finding balance between our personal and professional lives is something many people strive for. However, consistently striving to achieve total balance can lead to feelings of guilt. By setting and working towards attainable goals at work and home, we can find ways to reduce guilt and feel more balanced. This webinar offers daily tips and long-term strategies to find the work/life balance that works for you, minimizing stress in the process.

Time and Energy Management: Ideas for Sustainable Life Balance
May 31, 12:30 pm – 1:30 p.m.

As part of our Ideas for Sustainable Life Balance series, this interactive workshop defines energy management in terms of its relationship to work-life balance asserting that time is finite, but energy is not. Several traditional tools are presented but the focus is largely on the need for sustainable practices of working and living in the midst of a pandemic. Individuals will be asked to do a personal energy assessment and to consider a habit that will serve them.

Self-Defense and Self-Empowerment Workshop
May 31, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Tracey Cardella, a Victim Advocate with Special Services, has been teaching self-defense and self-empowering classes with Penn for 14 years. She is also the founder and lead instructor of Fight4U, LLC.

Build your confidence with situational awareness while you learn a few basic self-defense moves. The goal is to raise awareness in vulnerable situations, utilizing realistic scenarios. No weapon defense is taught in this class. Please join us for a session that will raise awareness and empowerment – a reminder of how strong you are! If there are no spots left and you’d like to join the waitlist, please email

Be in the Know and Virgin Pulse Resources

Additionally, Penn’s Be in the Know wellness campaign offers access to mental health resources available on the Virgin Pulse platform.

Journeys provide Be in the Know participants with daily self-guided courses to help you build healthy habits. On the Virgin Pulse platform you will find Journeys that focus on emotional balance. Log into Virgin Pulse and scroll down to the “Find Emotional Balance” section for a list of mental-health related Journeys, including “Caring for Yourself While Caring for Others” and “Growing Emotional Awareness.” The Media Library page also provides videos that can help you improve your emotional well-being. Also, visit the Programs page to view RethinkCare emotional well-being videos.

You can view a complete list of Mental Health Awareness events on the online calendar.

Visit the MindWell at Penn pages for more emotional well-being, behavioral health coverage information, and other mental health resources, including the Penn Employee Assistance Program available 24/7, at 1-866-799-2329.