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University of Phoenix and Give an Hour® join forces during the annual “Week to Change Direction,” held during Mental Health Awareness Month, to work together to change the culture of mental health and wellness in the workplace

Two professionals going over sticky notes on a glass meeting board

By Melany Stroupe

PHOENIX, May XX 2021, — University of Phoenix will join forces with Give an Hour® for the third annual Week to Change Direction May 10-16, 2021. Give an Hour is a national nonprofit that aims to change the culture of mental health to ensure everyone gets the care and support they deserve. The “Week to Change Direction” brings together organizations, mental health experts and offers activities to encourage mental well-being. University of Phoenix will provide expert panelists from the university who will participate in two webinars during this week, and the university will sponsor Give an Hour’s Emotional Life Skills at Work courses, which focus on mental health and wellness in the work environment, for eligible participants in the two webinars.

“We are proud to work with Give an Hour to sponsor the Week to Change Direction and bring greater awareness to the critical need to remove the stigma associated with mental health challenges,” said Peter Cohen, president, University of Phoenix. “Our recent Career Optimism Index™, study revealed that American workers consider mental health challenges a barrier to career progression and feel employers should do more to support them with mental health and wellness services. Participating in the Week to Change Direction is one of the ways employers can demonstrate their commitment to mental well-being.”

The Career Optimism Index™ found when it comes to career advancement, mental wellness was ranked just as important as skills development (37%). Overall, 34% of American workers said mental health impacted their work performance over the past year and 33% sought out mental health resources to help deal with work-related stress.

Created in response to the pandemic, Give an Hour developed Emotional Life Skills at Work (ELS), a one-hour online class about mental health and emotional well-being. The course is designed for workers to focus not only on their emotional well-being but also on the well-being of others. As part of its participation in the Week to Change Direction, University of Phoenix will sponsor an ELS course for the first 500 registrants of the “Collective Impacts: Communities Collaborating to Improve Mental Health” webinar on Wednesday, May 12 at 3 p.m. EST.* The webinar will be hosted by Give an Hour featuring a panel of experts including Christina Neider, Ed.D., Dean, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Phoenix.

A second webinar planned for Wednesday, May 26, which will focus on what employers can do to support employees’ mental health and wellness, will also provide access to the first 500 participants to the ELS course, sponsored by University of Phoenix. The Give an Hour’s ELS course will be accessible for a full year and provides tips and strategies for coping with mental health and wellness challenges in the workplace.

“Your emotional well-being is as important as your physical well-being and is a large part of your overall health,” said Randy Phelps, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, Give an Hour. “Learning about mental health issues and when those issues are in the danger zone is what ELS courses, our webinars and the Week to Change Direction is all about. The idea is to educate people and we are proud to have the University of Phoenix collaborate with us in reaching people during this week and month.”

*Limited registrations available.

For more information on the Week to Change Direction or to register for the webinar, please click here.

About Give an Hour
Give an Hour® is a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) founded in September 2005 by Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, a licensed clinical psychologist. For the past 15 years, Give an Hour has provided more than 340,000 hours of free mental services to veterans, service members and their families, as well as victims of natural and man-made disasters like mass violence. By harnessing the skills and generosity of citizens across the nation and around the world, Give an Hour provides those in need with help and hope.

About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses and interactive learning help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. We serve a diverse student population, offering degree programs at select locations across the U.S. as well as online. For more information, visit