Symposium Amplifies Mental Health Awareness Within Local Underserved Communities

centennial campus

Press Release I Sept. 26, 2019

Pikes Peak State College's Counseling Center has  joined forces with Colorado Springs Health Foundation and Empowering Minds Nurturing Souls, Inc. to help remove the stigma and shame that marginalized communities and people of color have around mental health.

"The stigma is so strong in those communities that individuals are not open to accepting their mental health problems. Ridicule, belittling and lack of acceptance from the family create fear and ultimately prevent individuals from receiving the care and resources that exist," says Yolanda Harris, director of PPSC's Counseling Center. "And, we aim to change that. " 

PPSC, CSHF and EMNS will conduct a free symposium to combat this mental-health stigma and connect individuals and families with the resources they need.

"No More Secrets: Breaking Through Barriers" will take place on Oct. 4-5 at PPSC's Centennial Campus, 5675 S. Academy Blvd, Colorado Springs. The event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided. 

PPSC's Counseling Center provides students with professional mental health counseling, short-term intervention, crisis intervention and referrals to community resources to help students cope with and succeed in college. 

The center also has on-going events at the college every semester, including an LGBTQ Support Group, a 15-week fathering class, mental-health first aid courses and free depression screenings. 

Partnering with other mental health organizations in the Colorado Springs area for the annual "No More Secrets: Breaking Through Barriers" symposium has empowered PPSC's Counseling Center to provide outreach beyond the college campus and into the communities where the need is greatest.

"No More Secrets: Breaking Through Barriers" Symposium Schedule:
Friday, Oct. 4 | 6-8 p.m.
Opening reception and keynote from Andrew Romanoff, former president and CEO of Mental Health Colorado 

Saturday, Oct. 5 | 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Keynote from Patrice N. Douglas, owner of Empire Counseling & Consultation
Breakout sessions include "Parenting," "Self-care," "The LGBTQIA Disconnect," "Inside the Opioid Crisis," "The Truth about Trauma," "Many Faces of Depression" and more.

Register at or 719-502-4782

About Pikes Peak State College

Established in 1968 and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, PPSC offers associate degrees, certifications in career and technical fields and two bachelor degrees. With three campuses, various off-campus locations, two military education centers, and hundreds of online classes, PPSC provides access to a quality, affordable and flexible education to about 19,000 students annually.