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Big Questions: How Do We Move Beyond Stigma in Mental Health?

December 19, 2016

Discussions about mental health often focus on the role of stigma in preventing people from accessing mental health resources. Join us as we explore how we can move beyond stigma in our efforts to address mental health concerns, improve access to mental health services, and enhance well-being for all.

On December 5, 2016, the College of Liberal Arts hosted a Big Questions event, moderated by Minnesota Public Radio News host Tom Weber, on the topic of mental health. Big Questions is a series presented by the University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts and Minnesota Public Radio News. This series fosters thoughtful discussion through a liberal arts lens, bringing multiple and diverse perspectives to bear on today's pressing questions.


Victoria Blakeborough, student advisor, Active Minds and College of Liberal Arts undergraduate
Victoria Blakeborough is an honors student in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota majoring in psychology and gender, women & sexuality studies. She is the current student advisor and past president of Active Minds, a mental health awareness student group. She is the Active Minds representative to the Minnesota Student Association (MSA) and a member of MSA’s Health and Wellness Committee. She also represents Active Minds on the Provost’s Committee on Student Mental Health.

Richard Lee, professor, Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts
Professor Richard Lee received his PhD in psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University and is an expert in ethnic minority mental health. His current work focuses on the role of health literacy and stigma toward mental health and the ways in which preventive interventions can increase literacy and reduce stigma. 

Glenn Hirsch, PhD., assistant vice provost and director, Student Counseling Center, Office for Student Affairs
Dr. Glenn Hirsch, licensed psychologist, is assistant vice provost of the Office for Student Affairs and director of student counseling services at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.  Dr. Hirsch has been supporting student success at the University of Minnesota for more than 28 years.  He is a member of numerous University committees including the Provost’s Committee on Student Mental Health. One of his specialty areas is in helping students create personal success by overcome academic underachievement, and he is the author of Helping College Students Succeed, A Model for Effective Intervention.   Dr. Hirsch received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Kansas.

Abeer Syedah, president, Minnesota Student Association and College of Liberal Arts undergraduate
Abeer Syedah is the 2016-2017 student body president at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and a senior studying political science, gender studies, and sociology. Her efforts have included the Preferred Name initiative, the affirmative consent policy, increasing menstrual care product access, reducing racial descriptors in crime alerts, lobbying for sexual assault legislation, and advocating for mental health funding. Abeer is also a member of MPR's Generation Listen Board.