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How to Handle Mental Health Issues in College: A P...

How to Handle Mental Health Issues in College: A Primer

College is a time to be away from home and become more independent. While away from home, students are bound to face external factors, such as stress, that will potentially make their lives in college difficult. Students handle and react to stress and other obstacles differently than others. However, a percentage of college students are struggling with mental illnesses accompanied by stress. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in four students have identifiable mental illnesses, 40% of students did not seek professional assistance, 50% of students struggled immensely in school due to anxiety, and 80% of students face complications due to being overwhelmed in college coursework. Some common mental health issues that affect students include anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and psychotic/schizophrenia. In a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, it showed that the most pressing and increasing issue among 41.6% of students was dealing with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and relationship issues.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in four students have identifiable mental illnesses, 40% of students did not seek professional assistance, 50% of students struggled immensely in school due to anxiety, and 80% of students face complications due to being overwhelmed in college coursework.

If you have any of the above issues, it is best to find hobbies to take your mind off of the stresses of homework, projects, presentations, and other school work. You can do physical activities including basketball, swimming, dancing, badminton, etc. Perhaps you can find some things to laugh about, such as looking for jokes online, watching a funny movie or video, or catching a comedy club. It is true that laughter is one of the best medicines and does take away a significant amount of stress. Laughing can activate and stimulate vital organs including the heart, lungs, and brain, which releases endorphins or “feel-good” hormones. Additionally, talk to the people who you trust whether it be parents, siblings, relatives, friends, or significant other. Although it may be a difficult task, discussing your feelings with them about your mental health issues can lift a tremendous amount of burden off your shoulders, and the people you trust will understand your situation more. If you or someone you know has a mental illness, you can consult with a mental health specialist or a psychologist. A mental health specialist or a professional within the field can make accommodations for you in college based on the issues that hinder you from completing a school work or daily routines. That way your transition to college would be smoother, and you will more easily assume a happy and healthy life.

If you would like to speak with a trained counselor or a specialist, please contact:

-National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at  1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) (toll free, 24-hour hotline)

SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline at 1‑877‑SAMHSA7 (1‑877‑726‑4727)

-www.7cups.com (an online emotional help and well-being service)

-Your primary care provider

 

Helpful References

http://www.nami.org/Find-Support/Teens-Young-Adults/Managing-a-Mental-Health-Condition-in-College

http://www.apa.org/monitor/2013/06/college-students.aspx

https://www.mentalhealth.gov/get-help/immediate-help/index.html

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml

https://www.7cups.com/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relief/art-20044456

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About Jessica Lau

Hi, my name is Jessica Lau! I graduated from California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications with honors. During my time at CSUF, I was a reporter and editor at Titan Communications and studied abroad in Italy to produce and edit a feature-length newscast, World Press Italy. Also, I was a freelancer for the campus newspaper, The Daily Titan, where I wrote and produced editorials about campus events.

After graduation, I interned for the County of Orange, where I worked as a cinematographer and editor for their local commercials and promotional videos about hazardous waste disposals. I am excited to work for High Faluter to shed light on today’s pressing issues that young people care about! I am currently working on blogging topics of interest, including gender and environmental issues. In my spare time, I love to dance, sing, and write creatively.


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