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Mental Health

A Mental Health Safe Haven at UD

Mental health is an ever-pervasive issue that affects nearly 1 in 5 adults in America alone, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. And though research and data collection on mental health is a fairly recent practice, this is not a new issue. For most of this country's history until only a few decades ago, mental health was seen as taboo. In generations past, organizations and infrastructure to aid the mentally ill did not exist, and most were sent to asylums or prisons to be locked away from society. However, the narrative is beginning to change.

There are still reservations around mental health, however universities around the country are beginning to open up and support dialogue surrounding the issue. One such campus is our very own University of Delaware. Here at UD we have a wonderful mental health resource called Sean's House. Sean's House is a nonprofit free mental health resource located on West Main St that often goes overlooked. This organization was created after a former student athlete at the University, Sean Locke, lost his battle with depression. The nonprofit, UnlockeTheLight, was created in his memory and the house that he spent three years living in when he was a student at the University of Delaware was bought, renovated, and opened to the public on September 24, 2020. That house is now the primary headquarters of UnlockeTheLight. The house is beautifully landscaped and well maintained. There is a welcoming atmosphere just walking past its front doors. Sean's House offers quiet study areas, brings in support animals, hosts meals, and most importantly offers a haven for students that are struggling. The doors are open at all hours, with peer advocates ready to assist. Peer advocates are students from around campus who are trained in mental health and crisis prevention care. Two psychology graduate students also live in the house full time and are on call to assist at any hour.

Whether you just need a quick escape or are in a mental health crisis Sean's House is an oasis for all students. They host events and RSOs almost weekly, which students can keep up to date with through their social media pages, all of which will be listed below. The goal of Sean's House is to give all students a place where they are important, heard, and cared for. The transition to college -and life in general- can be stressful and hard, but no one should have to suffer alone. Sean's House is opening up a necessary dialogue on mental health on this campus. Keeping such a pervasive issue hidden away makes it feel like an unapproachable topic, but if we can lift the cloud that surrounds dialogue on mental health, we have the potential to save lives. This is an invaluable resource for the campus community, and it is completely free. If you are looking for support, to get involved, or to monetarily donate to Sean's House you can reach out via the link below. And if you are one of the 1 in 5 who are struggling, there are endless resources and people willing to help you. The counseling center and suicide prevention hotline will also be listed for your benefit.

Resources:

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255

Sean’s House Instagram: @seans.house

Sean's House Website: www.unlockethelight.com

UD Counseling Center Helpline: 302-831-1001

Kait Montimurro

Delaware '24

Sophomore at the University of Delaware majoring in mass media communications with minors in legal studies, journalism, and politics and social justice.
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