Our View: We're all in this together
Published: Thursday, October 3, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 3, 2013 16:10
College is a time of experience, a time to try new things, and a time to learn more about one’s self. Through all the stress of school and life, one can get caught up in the chaos and even encounter a state of mind that can be scary if faced alone.
As mental illness awareness week approaches this Sunday, it is important to point out that college students are commonly diagnosed.
The 2012 study the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) conducted specifically on college students expressed that 37 percent of 18-22 year-olds are diagnosed with a mental illness. The survey found that 82 percent were women while men surveyed at 16 percent. The study also explained that 59 percent were current students, and 29 percent had been enrolled in school for three and half to four years.
For many, these are just statistics, but they show that 64 percent of students who responded are no longer attending college because of a mental health related reason. The drop out rate is significant, and these are friends, roommates, and significant others we could be talking about.
While we have a great counseling center at A-State, most of the responders of the survey said having peer-run support groups available and getting support from family and friends would have helped them stay in school.
Mental illness is not something that should be kept hidden, nor should it be something to fear. People often find that if they ignore the signs, then it doesn’t exist, but 73 percent of students experienced a mental health crisis while in college due to extreme feelings of anxiety, depression, loneliness, and isolation.
According to the NAMI site, everyone will experience a mental health issue at some point in their lives and need to be aware. While it definitely is personal, that doesn’t mean that someone trying to encourage you to get help is doing it to be nosy.
It is very easy to feel like asking for support or talking to someone is uncomfortable, but in no way is it pathetic or even shameful. If anything, it is proof of courage that not many can claim.
And to those who have family, friends, roommates, study partners, and classmates who show signs of mental illness, don’t turn the other way or just pat them on the back and say everything will be all right. They are confiding in you for a reason, but don’t hold their hand through the entire thing either.
Students who visit the counseling center, whether it be for one’s self or a friend, can find information on the A-State website or just visit the center on the second floor of the Reng Student Union. Walk-ins are welcome, and no situation is too small to be able to talk to a counselor, or a friend for that matter.
There are always times in life where we just have to push the pause button and take a deep breath. Health and happiness is the reason we are able to get up everyday, go to class, and pursue our dreams.
Don’t wait, don’t stress, and most importantly, don’t rely solely on yourself to get through hardship. You certainly don’t have to.
“Our View” is written by the editorial staff. The opinions are not necessarily reflective of the student body, faculty or administration of ASU.