By Cory Berlekamp
College is the time in life when people can and build on the skills that they will use the rest of their lives, but these years can be eclipsed by mental illness, anxiety, and depression.
Reported by BestColleges.com, a ranking site for higher education, the National Alliance of Mental Illness found that one in four students could be diagnosed with a mental illness and that 40 percent of those do not seek help. In those moments when a student needs someone to turn to, the University of Findlay Counseling Services has services available.
The UF Counseling Services webpage gives reasons why a student should find someone to talk to.
“College students pursue counseling for many reasons, from dealing with a longstanding problem to enhancing personal growth,” the website states. “Students come in to discuss relationships, adjustment to college, homesickness, depression, anxiety, grief, or eating disorders, just to name a few.”
Everyone is different when it comes to stressors and the reasons that may push them to go get counseling according to Karyn Westrick, Director of Counseling Services.
“The primary concerns we hear are varying degrees of anxiety, depression, feeling overwhelmed or stressed, trauma issues, and relationship struggles both family and social,”
Westrick said. “During heightened academic times any of these can be exacerbated by time
demands, feeling inadequate, pressure to perform and or succeed.”
“Even struggles with anxiety and depression are all unique to that individual student, influenced by many individual factors, so there really is no one ‘cookie-cutter’ client we see.”
The Counseling Services website name some of the different reasons to seek out counseling; changes in personal relationships, family concerns, significant changes in mood or behaviors, references to suicide, and psychosomatic symptoms.
There are certain groups of people that their academic performance suffers due to
mental health problems according to a study published 2019 in Psychological Trauma: Theory,
Research, Practice, and Policy.
“Compared with other groups, interpersonal violence survivors reported the most negative impacts on mental health and interference with academic performance,” the article stated.
The purpose of the study was also to find how much treatment that this group would seek out.
“Service utilization is high among this population, but campus-based mental health services appear to remain underutilized,” the article stated. “Outreach efforts by student life professionals and campus clinicians targeting demographic subgroups could enhance utilization and accessibility of campus resources.”
Though there is not a specific time of the year when there is an influx of students to the Counseling Services, Westrick does have advice for students at the beginning of the year.
“For incoming students, I would remind them they have successfully accomplished many other transitional times in their life. So, if they are overwhelmed or struggling to adjust, this is normal and transient and resolves fairly quickly. As long as they give themselves a fair chance,” said Westrick. “I would also suggest to any student to seek out campus resources early, before situations compound, and to know they are not alone.”
UF Counseling Services can be reached at 419-434-4526 to make an appointment and accepts walk-ins on Tuesdays from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. They are located at 307 Frazer St.