It’s time to take mental health seriously
Mental health is serious. Although some reduce it to “feelings,” things that are “all in your head” and thus not worthy of as much attention as physical issues, mental health is as important an element of one’s well-being as any other element of health.
For many students college is a big change—never before have they been this far from home or afforded this degree of independence. Aside from offering the first baby steps into adult life, college also brings with it new responsibilities, especially academic ones. Additionally, we have been cursed to live in interesting times, and it is all too easy for members of our extremely online generation to suffer the ill effects of information overload from social media.
Because of these factors, college students can find themselves struggling with stress, anxiety and other problems. CNU’s Office of Counseling Services offers individual and group counseling services to students.
I have had good experiences with our campus’s counseling center. During the second semester of my freshman year, someone I cared about expressed concern for me and asked me to make an appointment with the counseling center. My problems weren’t uncommon ones—anxieties about the future, about keeping up with schoolwork and about making friends and relating to people.
Counseling doesn’t make these problems go away, but it is still helpful. Sometimes just talking about one’s problems can help order one’s head, and counseling can be a safe place to do that. While it’s not a bad thing to vent about one’s problems to one’s friends, or to try to help friends with their problems, one must be careful not to use the people close to them as impromptu therapists: it’s not their burden to bear and they don’t have the expertise a licensed professional has to offer advice.
In addition to helping to get problems out and in doing so clearly define them, counseling can provide one with the tools to help oneself. During the first appointment with the counseling center, they help to set a goal to deal with over the coming meetings.
My experiences are only my own, and I make no claims to speak for anybody but myself. My problems were not, and are not, as severe as those others may experience. However, the counseling center is equipped to deal with the needs of college students who are adjusting.
It isn’t possible to wave a magic wand to make the mental stress caused by college disappear. However, in my experience, the counseling center has been enormously helpful, and I would and have recommended it to people in need.
To make an appointment call (757)-594-7661 or visit the Office of Counseling Services on the second floor of the Freeman Center.