Welcome to #VTBetterTogether
A Campaign for Mental Health
#VTBetterTogether is a public health campaign to support mental health in the Virginia Tech community. It began in 2018 when Provost Cyril Clarke commissioned a task force to study mental health concerns at Virginia Tech. Under the direction of Chris Wise, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, the task force was charged with examining the significant increase in student requests for mental health services that had been building over time.
The task force issued eight recommendations. First among them was that Virginia Tech begin an awareness campaign that “will empower all Hokies to become mental health advocates through accurate information and data, training and education, and resource awareness.”
An advisory group met in spring 2020 and spent time with students, faculty, and staff to determine the focus, goals, and parameters of a mental health awareness campaign. The result is #VTBetterTogether, which emphasizes that mental health is a prerequisite for well-being and that each member of the community can be involved in supporting one another’s efforts toward mental health.
A basic assumption of the campaign is that mental health and mental illness are not opposite ends of a continuum; rather, they are separate but related dimensions. Those of us who face challenges to mental health are entitled to support in the pursuit of well-being, and mental health remains a priority for each in our community. The World Health Organization noted in 2003 that “there is no health without mental health” and that the pursuit of health is a dynamic process that involves an entire community.
#VTBetterTogether has a number of basic premises to achieve the promotion of mental health at Virginia Tech. They include:
- The campaign will support student success and well-being through a community-wide effort.
- The campaign will include information awareness as well as focused trainings and resource development for faculty, staff, and students.
- The university community will develop basic knowledge of all resources for mental health.
- The campaign will advocate for increased resources for students with mental health challenges.
- Mental health is an important goal for all of us; therefore, the campaign will be inclusive of each and every Hokie.
- Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) is foundational for all at Virginia Tech. The campaign will encourage belonging through “Let’s Listen” in which each of us will care for one another by noticing individuals who may be in distress, by asking if we can assist, and by listening to their concerns.