Mental health encompasses emotional, psychological, and social well-being, influencing cognition, perception, and behavior. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental and physical health are equally important components of overall health. 

Mental illnesses are among the most common health conditions in the United States.

  • More than 1 in 5 U.S. adults live with a mental illness.
  • Over 1 in 5 youth (ages 13-18), either currently or at some point during their life, have had a seriously debilitating mental illness.
  • About 1 in 25 U.S. adults lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.

Signs you could benefit from emotional health support

Need support now?

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available — call or text 988 or chat

Stress and mental health

It's important to note that a person’s mental health can change over time, depending on many factors. When demands placed on a person exceed their resources and coping abilities, their mental health could be impacted. Many of us are facing challenges that are stressful and overwhelming. 

Stress doesn't only impact our mental and emotional well-being — it also can affect our physical health and relationships. Stress can cause:

  • Feelings of fear, anger, sadness, worry, numbness, or frustration
  • Changes in appetite, energy, and interests
  • Trouble concentrating and making decisions
  • Nightmares or problems sleeping
  • Headaches, body pains, stomach problems, or skin rashes
  • Worsening of chronic health problems and mental health conditions
  • Alcohol and drug abuse

Ways to cope with stress

  • Keep a journal
  • Exercise and eat healthy
  • Get regular sleep
  • Identify and challenge your negative thoughts
  • Reach out to friends and family


Calming video playlist

Need a quick reset? Check out the MVCC Wellness Council Short Meditations Playlist on YouTube. It includes short relaxing videos with calming visuals and gentle sounds to help you find your zen, clear your mind, and refocus during the workday. Bookmark it for when you need it most!


Telemedicine is good for the mind as well as the body. In addition to medical doctors, you can also consult with a psychiatrist, licensed therapist, or social worker from the privacy of your own home.

Employee Assistance Program

The Higher Education EAP provides free confidential help for you and anyone living in your home, and dependents up to age 26. Help with mental health, addiction, personal, legal, financial, and career issues. For more information, call 1-800-252-4555 or visit

Calm App

Employees who are members of the MVCC Professional Association are eligible for a premium subscription to the Calm app as a free benefit for all NYSUT in-service and retiree members. Calm is a self-guided digital app to help manage stress. The premium subscription provides unlimited access to the full library of content at and in the Calm app, which can be utilized via desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device (iOS or Android). Members also can add up to five dependents (age 16 or older) to receive their own premium Calm subscriptions. Find more information here.

Additional resources