Mental health is quickly becoming a large concern on college campuses. At Concord University, that statement holds true.
Whether it’s studying for countless hours all week to do well on a lab practical, attempting to write an entire essay in one day, or having multiple big assignments due on the same day, everyone experiences stress in college.
However, some students become so overwhelmed that it is essential for them to discuss their problems with others.
This week, I had the opportunity to sit down with a Concord student, who I will keep private for their sake, and discuss the importance of mental health. One of the first things I asked this student was why they wanted to tell their story and not just keep it within the circle of their close friends and family.
Without hesitation, they replied:
“I want to share my story so I can help others that may be struggling. I feel like there’s this stigma about mental health. People say you shouldn’t talk about it, but it needs to be normalized. Mental health is just as important as your physical health.”Student
This person’s first experiences with mental health problems began when they were diagnosed with anxiety during their freshman year of high school.
“I was so stressed because of school. I was having panic attacks all the time. I didn’t tell my parents or teachers. My stress and panic attacks were so overwhelming that they made getting up for school seem impossible. Finally, I reached the point where I talked to my counselor and got the help I needed.”Student
Once they received the proper help they needed, they had a better understanding of their problems and knew how to control them better.
However, their mental health struggles expanded when they were diagnosed with depression, OCD, and social anxiety during the summer leading up to their junior year of high school.
“When I had all those problems piling on top of me, it just felt like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. I didn’t want anyone to know anything was going on again, so I acted normal and tried to handle my problems on my own. One night, I felt so numb and empty, and started having suicidal thoughts. From there, that’s when I knew I had to [seek] professional help and started taking medication.”Student
After hearing this, I wrapped up the interview session by asking, “What would you recommend as the most important part of seeking help to someone who is experiencing similar behavior?”
“I think it is very important to have a good support team that understands how to help and doesn’t see you differently because of it. For me, it’s when I’m having panic attacks and having people I know and trust that can help me get out of it. And that can be your best friend, family, or a medical professional.”Student
If you’re a student at Concord and are struggling with your mental health or simply just need someone to discuss your problems with, you can visit the CU Counseling Center, which is located on the third floor of the Jean & Jerry Beasley Student Center. If you would like to schedule an appointment, you can do so in-person, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (304) 384-5290.
I’ll leave you with one last message from my interviewee:
“Your problems matter. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.”
by Jared Sandy