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The #Ivebeenthere Campaign

Posted by Give an Hour Admin on August 17, 2015 2:05 PM EDT
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Esperanza Gutierrez is a Give an Hour Student Liaison representing the University of California, San Diego. Esperanza’s volunteer role with Give an Hour includes finding unique ways to encourage and support open conversation and education about military mental health at her university. As she developed her role, Esperanza noted the increased stigma of mental health on her campus and in her community and she decided to do something about it. Take a moment to read her blog post...

"On a typical week day, you will notice students texting and walking, drinking their coffee roughly at 2 pm, sometimes walking their dog or sitting by the fountain talking about how much reading they have to do for their class or whether or not they should go to the beach, which is only a fifteen minute walk from campus. The college life can be blissful, adventurous and a moment in life to really find your niche. Among the constant movement, adventure and responsibilities, college can be stressful, it can be challenging and it can be overwhelming. Whether it be finances, workload, homesickness or any other factor, it can take a mental toll and interfere with the overall college experience. The stigma on mental health takes the role of sensitivity concerns when more often than not, students won’t reach out due to time constraint or feel it unnecessary to go to the extent of visiting the various resources on campus. It is said that this method of dealing with such experiences is to leave one’s own mind “In the cold”. In an effort to “keep the mind warm”, to destigmatize and raise awareness, the initiation of the beanie campaign took effect. 

The campaign #Ivebeenthere enables people to share their story about mental health whether it be their own experience, someone they know or what they feel towards the stigma of mental health. In addition to the story, people wear beanies, take a photo and include their story in the caption with the hashtag #Ivebeenthere. The idea of “I’ve been there” revolves on the idea that the speaker has experienced, know of or is well aware of the importance of raising mental health awareness. Our goal is to make it viral, especially on social media sites, where a great majority of students and the world are connected in today’s society. As social media and communication makes progress, we should make progress on how we address Mental Health awareness and de-stigmatization." 

Everyone is encouraged to participate. For more information, please email Esperanza Gutierrez at

To become a student liaison with Give an Hour, email

Join Esperana's Campaign on Facebook

PTSD took a loved one. It's been seven years, but it always feels like yesterday. Although, I've learned to be strong with every reminder and it has motivated me to advocate for mental health awareness. Let's destigmatize and discuss. #Ivebeenthere

I encourage all my friends and family to join me in the cause to bring mental health awareness by posting a photo of yourselves in a beanie. We're using the tag #Ivebeenthere to explain your familiarity with mental health either by personal experience, seen or know someone with mental health related issues or you're aware/advocate for mental health awareness and the pursuit of destigmitization. Please join me and let's spread awareness!

View Esperanza Gutierrez's Story on Facebook.




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