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Four Tips for Dealing With Mental Health Needs in College

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CAMBRIDGE, MA, USA - NOVEMBER 2, 2013: Harvard Yard, old heart of Harvard University campus, on a beautiful Fall day in Cambridge, MA, USA on November 2, 2013.

Photo Credit: Harvard University

Utilization of mental health services on college campuses have been increasing quickly each year, and college campuses are increasing mental health services in an effort to meeting the needs of students. A recent study found that 1 out every 12 college students have written out a suicide plan.

Due to the increase of federal funding, programs that focus on eliminating suicide, reducing stigma, and bringing awareness of mental health issues have been placed into middle school, high school, and colleges throughout the country.

On many college campuses, counseling services have been improved in order to cater to students schedules and expand the utilization of therapy by hiring more counselors and extending the hours. Being a college student is already difficult and adding a mental health issue can make it seem impossible. Here are some tips to help you get through another semester.

1.Learn about the resources offered on campus

Many students with mental health needs don’t know that their campus has resources that can help them. Before you start classes it would be helpful to set up services at the Counseling Center and Disability Center. College offer accommodations that could help you get through a tough semester and really set you up to succeed despite any challenges you may face. Some accommodations that may be offered are extended deadlines, a quiet/private place to take exams and more.

2.Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Due to stigma, many people feel afraid or even ashamed to reach out for help. Just like going to the doctor for a physical illness, mental health needs should be dealt with in the same manner. There are people out there to help and the first step is to ask. Identify and locate your University’s Student Health and Wellness Center who can assist you or help provide you information to assist someone you care about.

3.Stay connected on campus.

It’s very important to make connections on campus. Not only will you make friends, it will provide you with a support system on campus. Take a look at the clubs and events held on campus and join a few. Students who are apart of social life at their school tend to do better and cultivate a solidarity in their lives.

4.Create a self care plan.

The most important of the tips to maintaining mental health during school is to create your own self care plan. This is your own steps, resources,and supports that can help you get through tough times. This may include remembering to take your medication every day, picking up yoga, going to a Zumba class each week, and/or eating healthy foods. Self care is such a vital part of mental well being. Even taking 10 mins at the end of each day to relax can help you feel so much better.

Julia Cardoso is the Mental Health Staff Writer with a focus on Anxiety Disorders. She is a graduate of Emmanuel College with a BA in Sociology and is on her second year MSW program at Simmons College. Julia is passionate about Mental Health and eliminating the stigma.

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