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Over 4,500 enroll in new USF course about mental health in the workplace

Exterior of the University of South Florida's College of Behavioral and Community Sciences building
University of South Florida
The course is a collaboration between the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences and the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.

Professionals from 50 U.S. states and 69 countries enrolled in the course.

Mental health issues in the workplace are on the rise across the country.

Seventy-six percent of workers reported at least one symptom of a mental health condition in 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

A new University of South Florida course is trying to combat this, and over 4,500 working professionals enrolled in its first year. They came from top companies across the nation and the world.

The online course, Mental Health & Wellness in the Workplace, is a collaboration between the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay and USF's College of Behavioral and Community Sciences.

It teaches students about dealing with mental health obstacles, building healthy teams and supporting employees. Participants learn to recognize mental and behavioral issues.

"We talk about trauma, we talk about suicide and we have to talk about those things because they are on the rise," said Julie Serovich, dean of the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences. "Most people have experienced trauma to some level. And so understanding a little bit about that is important."

The course is free, because Serovich says she wants it to be about making a difference, not a profit.

"This is about doing the right thing," Serovich said. "In a time of crisis, as we're having right now. The worst thing is for somebody to wake up and realize they have a problem and not know what to do about it. And they can go take this course, and they can learn what they can do about it."

The course is open to the public. It consists of seven sessions, lasting two hours each. Here's how to enroll.

Aileyahu Shanes is a WUSF Rush Family Radio News intern for the summer of 2024.