As the school year begins, students find themselves suddenly bombarded with assignments and responsibilities after a summer of fun and relaxation. It can feel like such a stark change, going from sitting in the sun and adventuring for months on end to being stuck in a classroom all day and doing homework all night. The drastic switch can negatively impact one’s mental health.
Mental health struggles among college students in the United States are a growing concern that not many people talk about. According to the American Psychology Association, about 41.6% of college students today suffer from anxiety and 36.4% struggle with depression. Mental health issues among college students have been steadily increasing every year and struggling with these issues can negatively impact your studies. Studies suggest that depression and anxiety can cause decreased focus and lack of motivation, which can cause your grades to slip severely.
There is a huge stigma surrounding mental health and speaking about it openly. However, with almost half of all college students finding themselves struggling with these issues, it should be a more comfortable topic of conversation, and finding help doesn’t have to feel difficult.
Georgia State has a counseling center on campus that offers six free counseling sessions for all students. This is a great option for someone who doesn’t have health insurance and can’t afford to seek therapy elsewhere. In addition to the physical counseling center, there are many online options for those who don’t feel comfortable taking the full leap into in-person therapy sessions.
Togetherall.com is a website where students can support each other through mental health crises. The site is monitored by licensed therapists and also has many helpful articles on managing stress and coping with bouts of depression. Bewell.gsu.edu is another important online resource. It is a digital magazine with a well of knowledge and resources about overall health and wellness.
The Director of Counseling Services, Dr. Mikyta Daugherty, states on the Georgia State Counseling Center website, “I want Georgia State students to know that they are not alone in their struggle, and I want to promote spaces that encourage a willingness to seek and accept support from each other.”
If you’ve been struggling with your mental health, you can call the Counseling Center at 404-413-1640. If it is an emergency, you can ask to speak to a crisis counselor.
Something incredibly important to remember is that you don’t have to go through this alone. Don’t suffer in silence. There is no shame in asking for help. In fact, it shows quite a bit of strength and maturity. There are resources here to help, so take advantage of them. Mental health should be the number one priority. The only way to thrive in one’s studies is by taking care of oneself.