College can be stressful, so it is no surprise some students face mental health challenges. According to activeminds.org, a nonprofit mental health organization, 39% of students in college experience a significant mental health issue, and suicide is the second leading cause of death in college students.
But a full 75% of students with mental health issues do not seek help, according to collegestatsorg, a college statistics and data site. Licensed clinical social worker Emily Thomas wrote in an email to the Courier that stigma, shame, and lack of resources may be what stops them.
To combat this problem, Brookhaven’s counseling center offers eight free online counseling appointments per semester to each student. To make an appointment, students must send an email with their name and phone number to [email protected]
Brookhaven’s counseling is completely confidential and is protected by both state laws and the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Students can also receive support from the Dallas College CARE Team, which “addresses behaviors or mental, emotional or psychological health conditions that may be disruptive, harmful or pose a direct threat or risk to the health and safety of the community,” according to its website. Students can also get help paying for community psychiatric, mental health and substance abuse services through North Texas Behavioral Health Authority.
Another option for dealing with mental health issues is using prescription medication. For students seeking prescription medication, Thomas wrote, “I would recommend they speak with a provider who is licensed to prescribe medication if it interests them.”
Thomas wrote that substance abuse disorders, personality disorders and trauma/stress-related disorders are some of the mental health issues that may affect college students.
As for stress-related disorders, University of Texas sophomore Iris Chang said she attributed her mental health struggles to moving to Austin without having any friends. “I didn’t have a support system to help me through the transition,” Chang said. “The workload with classes can be overwhelming … I took 17 credit hours last semester, so it felt like I constantly had a never-ending to-do list.”
Recent Stevens Institute of Technology graduate Carly Palicz wrote in an email to the Courier that she had experienced untreated depression and anxiety going into college, which carried into her time there.
Palicz wrote that, like Brookhaven, Stevens Institute of Technology offers support for its students, making access to mental health treatment easier for them. “My school’s [Stevens’] mental health services are really lacking and receive an incredibly low amount of funding,” she wrote. Regardless, she added, “Don’t be afraid to seek help in whatever capacity you are able to.”