Students are spreading awareness about the five signs of mental health suffering.
Students are spreading awareness about the five signs of mental health suffering. Photo: Image, courtesy of the Take 5 Miami campaign

Student-led Take 5 Miami campaign raises mental health awareness

Miami University students are spreading awareness about the five signs of mental health suffering as part of a public relations campaign they created.

Miami’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and students representing Miami in the national Bateman Case Study competition are working with The Campaign to Change Direction, a national organization working to change the culture about mental health, mental illness and wellness.

The students created Take 5 Miami that emphasizes the five signs of mental suffering and how to get help.

  1. Personality change.
  2. Agitation.
  3. Withdrawal.
  4. Decline in personal care.
  5. Hopelessness.

Now through March 15, the student team will promote information on what individuals can do to promote mental well-being and to seek help at Miami.

Students, faculty and staff can sign a pledge to “vow to understand and recognize the five signs of mental suffering.” The pledge can be found at and is Miami’s version of Change Direction’s national pledge.

Student team members cite recent studies, which show that in a poll of more than 100,000 college students, one in two students have required counseling during their time in school, and one in three have considered suicide.

Students also learned from studies that show “a number of adverse attributes such as anxiety, depression and stress result in a debilitation of college students’ mental well-being. Many students are afraid to come forth about their mental disorders in fear of being different and being ostracized.”

The Campaign to Change Direction was started in 2013 after a group of professionals founded the group following the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. The initiative has since partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the American Psychiatric Association, Give an Hour and many more. It has reached more than 154 million people struggling with mental illnesses and has provided them with help to cure and prevent further mental suffering.