One of the greatest things about living in 2018 is that it is no longer taboo to talk about Mental Health. The stigma of going to therapy or admitting to having anxiety is no longer a scarlet letter. This does not mean dealing with mental health is easy, but there are resources that were not there just a few years ago. While it is more okay to talk about now, the need to address it with college students is arguably even more pressing than in the past.
Research conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness on mental health on college campuses shows that:
- One in four students have a diagnosable illness
- 40% do not seek help
- 80% feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities
- 50% have been so anxious they struggled in school
Even if you do not feel like you need it right now, here are some tips for everyone entering college. Mental Health research is developing every day, but it is still regarded as one of the most mysterious aspects of the human body. We will never fully know what stress and anxiety do to our body. But we do know they can have serious effects.
The first thing you must do is check your school’s resources regarding counseling. As mental health has become more socially acceptable to talk about, many schools like the University of Washington offer free counseling services for enrolled students. You want to do this at the beginning of the year when the stress is at a minimum. You do not want to be struggling to find this information while in a tough headspace. The same way you do not want to be figuring out where to get insurance and a doctor while you are sick. Take care of these things early.
After you check with your school’s resource center, consider the following resources:
- The Jed Foundation: The foundation has a number of online resources to promote emotional health and prevent suicide among college students. For example. Help a Friend in Need is a community guide for social media users to identify warning signs in friends at risk. Through its Half of Us campaign, the foundation promotes mental health awareness nationally via on-air or live events and connects students with health care providers.
- ULifeline: This online resource for college students seeking mental health wellness provides a wealth of information, such as tips on helping friends in crisis and ideas on developing good wellness habits.
- American College Health Association: The ACHA promotes healthy campus communities and works to serve as the principal leadership organization for advancing the health of college students. There are many resources such as helplines, brochures on different types of depression, and external links for seeking help.
- Beyond OCD: This site features suggestions and resources intended to help sufferers cope with and conquer OCD in college. Beyond OCD also offers tools for visitors to find support groups in their area.
- Active Minds: This organization is dedicated to educating and changing the conversation about mental health on college campuses. There are over 400 chapters on campuses across the U.S. that work to promote the growing concerns of mental health and teach prevention techniques for students and faculty. Active Minds has a list of resources for students in a crisis and has a therapist/counseling search tool for locating professionals in your area.