Kent State Salem Promotes Mental Health, Well-being

Salem – Kent State University at Salem observed National Prevention Week by collaborating with area agencies and sharing information about the services available in Columbiana County for individuals struggling with mental, emotional and behavioral well-being. 

Katherine Vance-Righetti is the mental health and wellness counselor for the Kent State Salem and East Liverpool campuses. She and representatives from various county mental health agencies were on hand during the recent Flash Dash 5k obstacle race to share information about the services available to area residents. 

Participating were the Behavioral Medicine and Wellness Center of Salem Community Hospital; Adapt Coalition and Young Adult Alcohol Prevention Initiative, associated with the Family Recovery Center; the Counseling Center; and Help Hotline. 

Vance-Righetti explained that President Barack Obama proclaimed May as Mental Health Awareness Month, stating that “…getting help starts with a conversation…. It’s up to all of us to know the signs of mental health issues…asking for help is a sign of strength.” 

Noting that collaboration and outreach are important, Vance-Righetti said that the area agencies were invited to Flash Dash to promote mental health and wellness, and to provide a platform for conversations about mental health, wellness and mental illness.

“At the Kent Columbiana County campuses, we have added mental health services to our student services,” she said. “When I visit the classrooms at Kent, I tell the students that my objective is to assist with any concern, inside or outside of the classroom, that might hinder student success.

“If a student has support of peers, family and friends, that’s great,” Vance-Righetti continued. “If not, for the particular topic of concern, I let them know that campus counseling, consulting and coaching are available. Just having the conversation and bringing awareness to mental health and mental illness helps to encourage students to seek services so that success endures for a lifetime.”

The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) initiated National Prevention Week to promote mental, emotional and behavioral well-being. Its challenge this year is “What will you do to make a difference in your life and community?”


Photo Caption: On hand at the Kent State Salem Flash Dash were (from left) Elsie English and Cynthia McCallum of the Behavioral Medicine and Wellness Center at Salem Community Hospital; Lynsi Drotleff of the Alcohol Drug Abuse Prevention Team, Young Adult Prevention Initiative at the Family Recovery Center; and Katherine Vance-Righetti, mental health coordinator at Kent Salem and East Liverpool campuses. Not pictured are representatives from The Counseling Center and Help Hotline.

Media Contact: Tina Smith,, 330-337-4247