Kianna Garmanian, Staff Writer
On Oct. 10, 2019, World Mental Health Day was observed in recognition of all mental illnesses. This day is deemed to help raise awareness for mental health, end the stigma and negative associations that come with this topic, and continue to support the growth of programs and resources for mental health.
On their website, National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) states, “Nearly one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness (46.6 million in 2017).”
Specifically looking at college students, NAMI shares these statistics: “50% of students have struggled greatly from anxiety and as a result have struggled in school, 80% feel overwhelmed/stressed by their responsibilities as a college student, 44% report having symptoms of depression, 1 in 4 college students face an eating disorder, and suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students.”
These facts are raw and real, and many of your peers are battling through these difficulties. As a campus with this knowledge, it is important to be there for one another and support each other as individuals. Furthermore, if you are suffering through any mental health battle, know that you are not alone. There is a negative stigma and association towards mental health that needs to be crushed. Mental health is real, important, and is happening all around us. There is no need to feel ashamed, isolated, or afraid. Although it is not about a common subject, mental health continues to be a huge issue in our country, especially on college campuses.
College is a time of exploration, growth, and discovery of the person you are and who you want to become. There are many new opportunities and experiences, along with several unknowns and difficulties. College is a beautiful time, but also can be stressful and challenging. Don’t be afraid of both of these aspects: the beauty and the challenges of college life. Accept, appreciate, and know that you are going through so much transformation during these young adult years- physically, mentally, and spiritually. Physiologically, your body and brain are changing, which greatly affects your hormones, mood, and overall wellness.
The pressures come from academics, athletics, extracurricular activities, clubs, performances, societal expectations, diet, culture, and more. These have great impact on us as young adults and can influence the way we see ourselves.
All in all, there is a lot going on for you during these college years, so do not be afraid to reach out and ask for help. If something feels off or you are facing a particular battle, please do not try and beat it on your own. You do not have to walk this path alone and there are other peers, faculty members, and professionals who will offer support, guidance, and advice on your journey.
Here are some of the wonderful resources available on our campus: The Counseling and Wellness Center (CWC), which offers confidential support, the Student Health Center, support groups/events led by the CWC, de-stress events led by Campus Life and the CWC, and more.
In honor of World Mental Health Day, never forget that you are not alone. Mental health matters and your life is important. Never hesitate to reach out for help or offer assistance to a friend or peer that is in need. It’s time to end the stigma and speak up. You matter.