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By April Krowel, Chair, Graduate Student Committee
GSC Marks National Mental Health Counseling Week With a Virtual 5k

For the first time this year, during the annual celebration of National Mental Health Counseling Week, AMHCA’s Graduate Student Committee (GSC) participated by sponsoring a free, virtual 5k run/walk, and by posting comments on AMHCA’s student Facebook page.

“This week is National Mental Health Counseling Week!” the opening entry announced. “We will be posting little blurbs throughout the week about specific mental health concerns. Topics and links posted included:

  • May 5: Jennifer Hike, GSC secretary, on bullying and its disturbing prevalence among teens: “77 percent of students have been the victim of bullying.” (Includes a link to
  • May 6: Christina Javete, GSC Southern Region liaison, on ChildHelp Speak Up Be Safe, an organization dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect that focuses on prevention, intervention, and treatment.
  • May 7: Christina Javete, GSC Southern Region liaison, on major depression
  • May 8: Kristen Lister, GSC chair-elect, on the connection between external stressors and psychological distress in individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender (LGBT). (Includes a link to Straight for Equailty.)
  • May 9: April Krowel, GSC chair, on research suggesting that suicide attempts and completed suicide among service members and veterans is at an all-time high. (Includes a link to Military Suicide Research Consortium.)

The week’s comments closed with this note: “Sadly we end #MentalHealthCounselingWeek, but keep the momentum and invoke change with #MentalHealthAwareness month still going on!”

Read all the comments on the AMHCA graduate student Facebook page.

The Graduate Student Committee also sponsored a virtual 5k (run or walk) during National Mental Health Counseling Week (May 5–11) to show support for mental health awareness. The virtual 5k was free and no fundraising was involved. Members were invited to walk or run whenever they liked, on their own or with family or friends, and to submit their photos. 

Here are three—from Indiana, Idaho, and Washington, D.C.—shown from left to right:

  • April Krowel, GSC Chair, Indianapolis, Ind.: “Running for mental health counseling awareness!”
  • Kristen Lister, GSC Chair-Elect, Pocatello, Idaho: “Taking time this morning to walk and smell the flowers for National Mental Health Counseling Week!”
  • Holly Sawyer, PhD, EL, GSC North Atlantic Liaison (left), Washington, D.C. , who posted mid-run:“Holly is out running now ... and she even got her neighbor to join! Go Holly!”

Thank you to everyone who participated in this event, whether or not you submitted a photo. 

If you have a photo of yourself participating in the GSC Virtual 5k that you didn’t get around to sending, it’s not 
too late. You’re still welcome to send a photo of your participation in National Mental Health Counseling Week to:

Keep up with GSC activities and stay in touch with clinical mental health counseling peers through AMHCA’s graduate students Facebook page

Questions? Ideas for Advocate articles? Contact GSC Chair April Krowel at