Savvy co-eds know it’s important to stay healthy and take care of our bodies by working out and eating well. We feel at our most fabulous when we avoid junk food, exercise regularly, maintain a professional appearance and treat others with kindness and respect. But what can you do when you have bad feelings you just can’t shake?
According to Deborah Franklin on npr.org, the occurrence of students seeking help for mental health troubles on college campuses has risen in the last decade, with around 18 million students currently affected. Common issues for students include homesickness, depression, relationship issues, anxiety, eating disorders and stress. In all of these cases, even if your body is not necessarily affected, your academic, social and personal lives all can be. Mental health is just as important as physical health.
West Virginia University student Brittany Lavenski said, “Status of mental health is extremely important for college students, who are generally at an age in which it is vital to feel secure and mentally ready for many new responsibilities.” She also noted that the way students deal with stress while they’re in school can affect their futures: stress can impact grades and accomplishments. Duquesne University graduate Debra Schreiber agreed, saying, “Mental health is incredibly important for college students: it can affect sleep, schoolwork, and all relationships.”
With the importance of mental health in academic success, most colleges now offer on-campus counseling or referral services. According to Michigan State University junior Samantha Poland, “On my campus, you can hardly turn a corner in any of the academic or housing buildings without seeing fliers or handouts for various services offered in numerous places. They are always listed among the health and safety contact numbers and addresses that are shoved in everyone’s mailboxes a few times a year.” Schreiber said that seeking help on her campus is simple as well, stating, “I think Duquesne handles this issue pretty well. They have a psychology clinic embedded into its health services center that is open to all students and people in the general Pittsburgh area.”
Classy co-eds can definitely benefit from taking advantage of mental health services on their college campuses. If you feel you might like to talk to a counselor on your campus, most college websites include easily searchable counseling center links and pages.
Ladies, the way you feel on a daily basis is important. Poland said, “If you are suffering mentally, you just are not going to be in the best shape you could be. You may be more apt to skip class or not bother studying for that big exam coming up because you may think that it is not worth it. Going out with friends even occasionally might just become too taxing.”
However, you are not alone. Michigan State University graduate Ryan Duffy said, “In one form or another, mental health issues are everywhere – whether it’s anxiety, depression, a learning disability…all college students encounter mental health issues on a fairly regular basis.”
If you would like to post a link to your university’s counseling center webpage as a resource for others, feel free to do so in the comments section below.
Hannah Borland, a senior in Dietetics at Michigan State University, is a Health and High School Writer for College Lifestyles. Road trips and hiking are her favorite parts of summer!