The Paw Print
For many students, college can be a stressful and troubling experience. Between harder classes, more homework, and the troubles of relationships with friends or significant others, the pressures of a college lifestyle can be detrimental to a student’s mental health. Luckily for those feeling this way, Adams State College is here to help.
Mental Health Awareness week was developed with the intentional effort to increase awareness of mental health concerns on campus, reduce the stigma around mental health issues, and empower the college community to see the help that is necessary and available to respond to mental health issues.
With the increase of suicides and various acts of violence, as well as students failing classes, struggling intensely with their motivational levels, or their inability to concentrate, the need for a program such as this has become stronger and stronger.
“Nearly 44 percent of college students have reported that at least one time in their college careers they felt so depressed that it was difficult to function,” said Laurel Carter. “Oftentimes, students are unaware of why they may be feeling so unmotivated, why they may be having feelings of hopelessness, or cannot get out of bed in the morning. The goal of Mental Health Awareness Week is to increase the knowledge the college community has of mental health issues and how common they truly are”.
Many are uncomfortable with topics like suicide, and the discomfort is what prevents discussions. In all honesty, the stigma attached to mental health is vast, and students, as well as staff members, should begin to embrace talking about topics like suicide, depression, and anxiety. As faculty are more open to talking about it, students may be more open to discussion as well, which will hopefully result in people seeking services that could benefit them. Not only does this increase the sense of openness and safety in discussing concerns, but it could positively affect a student’s overall college experience.
“It is time for us to come together as a campus community to identify when a person may be in distress, and we should have the knowledge and skills to do something about it from a preventative standpoint, rather than just a post-vention standpoint,” Laurel says.
Everyone can benefit from gaining knowledge of mental health issues. Mental health does not discriminate based upon age, race, religion, sex, or economic status. It affects everyone in some capacity, and the more someone knows about the subject, the more they can do to help those suffering.
All events will take place from April 2 to April 6 on the college campus in the Student Union Building. The First Aid training and safeTALK trainings have been approved by Student Affairs to miss classes with professor permission. Please register with Laurel Carter as soon as possible if you are interested in the trainings. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, there will be anonymous substance abuse and depression screenings to take in the SUB solarium. Thursday at noon, there will be a panel of mental health professionals, as well as a student speaker who has successfully made it through college with a mental health disorder to share his experience.
“Knowledge is power,” says Laurel. “We want students, faculty, and staff to be informed of the reality of mental health concerns on our campus, and let them know that something can be done. It is no longer something to hide from, as it affects every single one of us in some capacity.”