Managing Your Mental Health at College: Don’t Despair—Help Is Available

Everyone likes to talk about the fun and the laughs at college, but no one really wants to talk about the deeper issues. Mental health has always had a stigma, and, despite how far we have come, it is still something that is whispered about among family and very good friends.

But let’s face it: College is hard work and a huge adjustment. Having the tools and the support is the key not only to being physically healthy but also mentally healthy. Because not all of us really think about our mental health. Sometimes it begins to creep in when you realize that you may have taken too many hours or signed up for a super hard class that at the time seemed like a really great idea. Or it might rear its ugly head during midterms or final exams, and none of us really knows it’s there, sitting on our shoulder.

Recently I found myself needing a little extra help. I realized that I wasn’t super woman. Little did I know that Longwood has an entire school of experts just waiting to help us. Young adults, probably more than any other demographic, seem to think they can do it all and that asking for help is a flaw.  But sometimes asking opens up an entirely new world that we didn’t even know existed.

Did you know that the Dean of Students Office manages something called the Care Team here on campus that is made up of professionals from departments across the campus? Did you know that students who are studying psychology and social services act as interns to learn firsthand the needs of their fellow students? Did you know that they are available 24/7 and are just a phone call away?

I didn’t!!!

Whether it be depression, anxiety, stress or even a problem with your roommate, there is ALWAYS someone that will listen. No judging, no lecturing, no shaming—just help. Let’s face it, sometimes all of us just need a little extra help.

Finally, for you parents reading this, did you know that you can call the Care Team if you are worried about your student?

It could be that you haven’t heard from them or they won’t return your calls. Or perhaps you have an idea that there might be something going on. The Care Team will reach out and never let on that you called. It may be a professor or an RA or even someone from the Care Team, but they will never give away your secret!

Because remember, we still want to think that we’re grown up and that we don’t need anyone’s help. But deep down inside, sometimes we really do!