The Alabama Department of Public Health awarded Psychology professors Dr. Jamie
O’Bryant and Dr. Jamie Franco-Zamudio a one-year $10,000 grant towards mental health
awareness, suicide prevention and LGBTQ+ support.
Together, Dr. O’Bryant and Dr. Franco-Zamudio have founded the Get Support, Give
Support Project which will offer multiple interventions that focus on providing additional mental
health resources as well as support to students and allies in the LGBTQ+ community. Over the
next year, Dr. O’Bryant and Dr. Franco-Zamudio will evaluate the effectiveness of these new
resources, hoping to have reduced suicide risk and stigma for help-seeking behavior.
“We chose the title ‘Get Support, Give Support’ for this project because our goal is not
only to provide training and resources to those seeking mental health help, but also to those who
are providing that help to others.” said Dr. O’Bryant. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged
to participate in upcoming events which include a public speaker, training events, Rock the Hill
and a vigil commemorating those lost to suicide.
A portion of the grant also focuses on providing extra support to members of the
LGBTQ+ community as they are often at higher risk for depression, anxiety and suicide
ideology. Through the Get Support, Give Support Project, students and faculty are participating
in a five-week common read of Father Martin’s Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church
and the LGBT Community Can Enter Into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and
Sensitivity. The project has also provided free, off-campus counseling to LGBTQ+ identifying students through a partnership with Collins Counseling & Associates. Students can make an appointment by phone at 251-473-3410 and check in with their student ID.
“For me, this work is not only an opportunity to provide useful resources and tools to
students and colleagues,” said Dr. O’Bryant. “But it has also allowed me to find new connections
on campus and learn more about the current culture at Spring Hill College.”
All those interested are invited to attend guest speaker Andrew Onimus’ talk about
mental health on Mar. 18 at 6 p.m. in LeBlanc. There will be a follow-up suicide prevention
event hosted by Lifelines Counseling Services on Mar. 19 at 12:15 p.m. in Gautrelet.