Student counseling services can offer stress relief

Melissa Parker

by life editor Melissa Parker

Almost everyone has a bad day. But when one day turns into a string of bad days, it can result in something serious.

October is Depression Awareness Month and the perfect time to address the struggles and anxieties we, as college students, all face.

The statistics are staggering.

More than 11 percent of college students have been diagnosed or treated for anxiety, and more than 10 percent reported being diagnosed or treated for depression, according to the National Institute on Mental Health in 2005.

More than 40 percent of college students have felt more than an average amount of stress within the past 12 months, and more than 80 percent felt overwhelmed by all they had to do, according to an assessment done by the American College Health Association in 2012.

It gets worse. Untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide, according to suicide.org, and suicide is the second leading cause of death of 15-34 year olds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Those are the facts Between juggling school work, a job, some sort of social life, campus activities and for some like me, a family, college can be too much at times. I know I am not the only one who feels this way.

After a rough morning one day last week, I came to campus with the intention of calling Student Counseling Services and making an appointment.

I hung up once the phone began to ring.

What makes my problems more important than anyone else’s, I thought.

I feel, as a grown woman, I should be able to handle anything life throws at me.

I could not be more wrong.

Maybe others have felt the same way.

At some point in our lives, we all need help. Do not be afraid, ashamed or too proud to ask for it.

There are people out there who are willing to help you. If you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, depressed or just need someone to help you sort everything out, contact Student Counseling Services.

If you see a friend or loved one who seems to be having a bad day, reach out to them.

If someone reaches out to you, do not ridicule them. Do not belittle their problems. Do not make light of their feelings.

You may be the only person they have reached out to.

Depression is real. Anxiety is real.

Student Counseling Services is one phone call away. The person at the other end of the line may be the one person to make all the difference.

Sometimes all it takes is that one person.

I encourage you to make the call, make the appointment and make the change for better mental health.

Student Counseling Services is located at 555 Oakview Circle and can be reached at 256-765-5215.