By Madi Neely
Award-winning mental health advocate and professional speaker Sean Campbell visited the Boone DMACC campus this past Wednesday, Nov. 15, in the auditorium. He spoke to an audience of about 50 people to talk about mental wellness and the roles we can play in promoting positive mental health.
“People with mental health issues and who seek support most of the time make a full recovery,” Campbell said.
Campbell speaks from the heart in his presentation as he has had his own issues with mental health in his life. Growing up, his father was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and also struggled with alcoholism. His father’s struggle with substance abuse and an intruding mental health disorder inspired Sean to travel around the world and promote mental wellness.
Those in the audience have found the presentation to be helpful. “When I’ve seen him give his talk in the past, I have always found it to be really personal so it has a lot of impact,” said DMACC professor Julie Roosa. “It’s important to have speakers like this because we as a society don’t talk enough about mental health and the struggles that we all have.”
In his presentation, Campbell talked about the various aspects of mental health. But the image that sticks the most is the picture he put up on the screen called the “Wellness Circle”. The circle is made up of eight categories: occupational, spiritual, social, financial, emotional, environmental, intellectual, and physical. These eight aspects are all affected by your mental health and without seeking treatment, it will lead to the diminishing of the “Wellness Circle”, Campbell explained in his presentation. He went on to explain many other things, including how many people who are struggling with mental health issues are more inclined to isolation, as well as explain the differences between our thoughts and our choices. He described mental health issues as, “Disruptions in feelings, thoughts, emotions, and mood,” and that, “Something is happening beyond your control.”
Students and staff who attended seemed to take a liking to what Campbell had to say. At the end of the presentation, attendees were encouraged to ask any questions they may have had about the information discussed. Grace Krafcisin, a DMACC student who attended the presentation, said, “I took away a lot of different views on mental health and how I can help others that are going through anxiety or other illnesses.” Krafcisin and Roosa also recommend this presentation to anyone willing to listen. “I would recommend this presentation to anyone looking for a better aspect on mental health because it can open different ideas and outlooks on what mental health is,” said Krafcisin.
In 2010, Sean Campbell earned the Ambassador Award from the New Jersey Governor’s Council on Mental Health Stigma. In 2013, Campbell was awarded the Wellness Initiative Award, on top of winning the 2014 Voice Award. Aside from winning awards, Campbell has consulted his expertise on three documentaries that discuss the topic of mental health: “Heart and Soul: A Film Promoting Full Body Wellness in Behavioral Health”, “How To Touch A Hot Stove: Thought and Behavioral Differences in a Society of Norms”, and “Voices: A Documentary on the Human and the Untold Stories of Psychosis”. He is also a certified trainer in Mental Health First Aid and has served as an advocate at the Mental Health Association of Rockland County.
Link to his official website here: https://www.campbelloutreachgroup.com