Mental Health in a Mental World


Brady Jordan | Staff Photographer

Zane Turner, Volunteer Writer

Mental health is becoming more of a concern everyday as new studies come out expressing the severity of unchecked mental issues, it is becoming a real issue throughout society. Especially towards students who are working hard and putting their mind under constant stress at the time when it is still forming as we enter our early 20s.

Many universities in the United States are creating counseling services for students who need help in this department, Even some high schools are hopping on the trend. 

The University of North Alabama seems to be ahead of the curve with their new partnership with Fast Pace Health that provides additional mental health assistance to those students in need. This partnership will allow students to be in contact with mental health nurse practitioners to be evaluated and possibly manage medications related to mental health.

“The service is available to all UNA students, faculty, and staff. Those seeking psychiatric evaluations and possible medication management of their mental health needs can contact Fast Pace by visiting and clicking Behavioral Health for more information,” said Carmen Richter, the Director of Mental Health Services on campus.

This is a great stride towards a better, more supportive environment throughout campus. As most students deal with mental health issues related to depression anxiety and even bipolar disorder, every student needs an outlet to talk about these issues that affect not only them but their peers.

If someone is struggling with these issues, remind them that these counseling services are here to be used and are being expanded everyday.

“As a professional (and a parent) it is comforting to know that the University of North Alabama has taken steps like this to care for their students, faculty, and staff… not only physically, but emotionally.” Says Richter

Some students may come from an environment where the thought of having mental illness is mocked or even laughed at. So, this gives students the ability to choose to go to counseling without the intrusion of parents or social issues.

The University is expanding on this, showing that the counseling services are here to stay. An expansion on mental health services should be the main focus of any higher learning institution as this is a part of student safety. Student safety should be one of any university’s top priorities, as age groups 18-33 have been shown to report the highest stress levels out of any other age group. 

Stress and the management of stress can be exhaustive on the brain causing a lapse in mental health, so being on top of this issue is a must for not just universities but companies, and schools as well. 

As UNA leads the curve in Alabama to partner with Fast Pace Health, and have premier mental health services, it is expected for other institutions to follow as well. Hopefully this is not just a trend as many people around the world lose their life to untreated mental illness. 

Student’s brains can be especially sensitive at this time, as many are moving away from home and living by themselves, or have no friends and have to struggle through social anxiety to have someone they can talk to. 

If students can’t get over these obstacles then none of us can and we will all be hampered by the struggles of the people around us. A happy society creates revolutionary ideas and change that can only happen if everyone is healthy. 

This partnership is truly a product of students being outspoken and faculty wanting the best for the students, and this should be considered a milestone in not only mental health support, but a milestone for safety in general because we have to acknowledge that we are our own worst enemy at times. 

Especially during these uncertain times when people are quarantined and have nothing to do but battle with themselves to get up and do simple things like get up in the morning and take a shower and go to class. 

All it takes is that one step and UNA has made that one step so much easier thanks to this partnership.