By Sandra C. Roa, University Communications and Marketing
Andrew Devendorf’s family history inspired his passion to promote mental health literacy. Since an early age, he noticed the stigmas and lack of open dialogue about mental health, particularly depression. His older brother, Matt, suffered from depression, and sadly it resulted in his suicide. His death significantly impacted Devendorf’s life and motivated his research on how societal stigmas affect outcomes for individuals with depression. He’s also working to find new ways to normalize conversations about mental health, especially with clinical psychologists, who tend to distance their own mental health from their work.
“Psychologists are not immune to mental health problems and that’s okay,” Devendorf said. “By us being openly accepting of our own mental health problems, I’m hoping we can set a good example for how others can talk openly and seek care.”
USF’s Counseling Center offers several confidential mental health resources including in-person and virtual visits with a crisis counselor. The center also provides access to Togetherall, a free anonymous peer support platform, and TimelyCare, a virtual health and well-being platform and mobile app that’s free to current students.