Mental Health and College

Although college can be a time of fun experiences, it can also come with unique challenges.

One such challenge is stress.  Studies have shown an increasing amount of college students struggle with depression, anxiety and even suicidal thoughts. Results indicated that 53 percent of people have experienced depression since beginning college.

It goes without saying that college is complicated, but managing your mental health doesn’t need to be.  Here is how you can:

  1. Take Time for you-  It is important to find a balance between school and work. It is equally important to balance friend time and alone time (yes, even you extroverts.) Spending time alone allows you to decompress and reflect on your emotions.  You are able to take care of your mental well being, and focus on what makes you stressed and how to cope with it. Take time out of your busy schedule, even it is just an hour, to spend time just for you.
  2. It Is Okay Not To Be Okay  Know and understand that we all have bad days and that is alright. Don’t blame yourself for feeling down. Emotions are what make us human, and being sad is normal. We have to experience those bad days in order to appreciate the good ones. Just know it is okay to feel what you are feeling.
  3. Speak up- If you are struggling, let those around you know. Let your roommates, family, friends, even your professors know that you are going through something. The more they know, the better they can help.
  4. Seek Help-  Besides reaching out to friends and family, seeking professional help can make a huge difference. A great resource for students in the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) here at SUU. They offer free services for SUU students who seek help addressing conflicts associated with college such as depression, stress, loneliness, etc. CAPS services include individual counseling, couples counseling, group counseling, biofeedback, workshops, and psychiatric services. More information can be found on the CAPS website.
  5. Practice Self-care Self-care involves caring for you and is a great resource to do on your own. Caring for your emotional and mental well being is important during college. Being mindful matters. You can practice self-care by going cloud watching, paying complete attention to something you usually do on autopilot, taking a bath, going on a hike, or stroking a pet. For more ideas on how to practice self-care, click here

I cannot stress enough the importance of mental health. Mental health is not just important for college students, but for everyone. If you know someone who is struggling, help them. Check up on your friends. If you, yourself, are struggling, just know you are not alone. It’s okay to need help. You have so much worth.

You can do this.