Community awarded for mental health advocacy


Submitted photo

Terry and Patti Cullen receive the Mental Health Matters Award from University Counseling Services.


Starting this fall, University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Counseling Services is partnering with members of both the campus and community to recognize individuals or departments who push to erase the mental health stigma. The Mental Health Matters Award is given to several campus and community members for raising awareness and building understanding of behavioral health issues.

The recipients for this semester include Terry and Patti Cullen. Terry is a member of the Facilities Management Department on campus and they are both the founders of the organization, Ben’s Hope. The Cullen’s are a large part of the Platteville community and they have been working hard to bring an end to the stigmas surrounding mental health. Through Ben’s Hope, the Cullens are sharing their story of resilience and recovery to help stop the discrimination associated with mental health conditions with the focus on the misperceptions of suicide.

The second recipient of this semester’s award went to Russell Hill, a production manager for Media and Technology Services. Hill worked to create numerous videos raising awareness about mental health and the resources that are available in University Counseling Services. Hill took his time, without request from the Counseling Services Office, to create a video for suicide awareness.

“We did not even ask him to do this, but he created a really great video,” associate counselor Jodi Moen said.

The final recipient for this semester was UW-Platteville’s Department of Residence Life.  Residence Life included Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) suicide gatekeeper training as a part of the orientation for all resident assistants on campus. Students are the most likely to notice symptoms of mental health in peers first.

This award reaches out to groups and individuals who go above and beyond in raising awareness and understanding on mental health. One in four students will be diagnosed with a mental health disorder this year. Eliminating the stigma is a step in the direction for helping individuals.

“Stigma is on our campus. These recipients show that they care for their students in a deep way,” Moen said.

University Counseling Services offers a wide variety of classes, groups and activities for all students to attend. These activities include the Stomp Out Stigma campaign and Advisory Groups. For more information on any of these or other services University Counseling Services offers, visit