The transition from high school to college can be a difficult one, and it comes at a time that can already be fraught with turmoil. Students should not be afraid to seek help for any mental health problems that may come up.
Many students end up neglecting their mental health due to societal pressures and stigmas, and freshman year can mark the beginning of mental illness for many students. While part of the problem is a sudden increase in stress and expected independence, ages 18-20 are prime development years for mental illness anyway according to Nathan Bock, assistant director of counseling services and health services.
“I see a lot less [stigma] every year,” Bock said. This is largely due to mental health advocates’ campaigns both online and off to destigmatize mental illness and its treatment.
As recently as 2016, anxiety overtook depression as the number one mental health problem for college students. Over half of all college students are reported to have some form of anxiety. There are many different approaches to treatment for just about any mental health problem one could have, but a great place to start for UNO students is Counseling and Psychological Services, housed in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation building.
“We encourage people to come in and get help,” Bock said. “There is no judgment here.”
Taking care of your mental health can also prevent it from harming your school career. Depression and anxiety can lead to poor per-formance in classes and even just not showing up.
Although it may seem scary to try and get help for a mental health problem, recognizing and treating mental illness early are key factors in avoiding a full-blown crisis. Such a crisis can lead to much more permanent and damaging problems with your grades and social life.
When students begin to feel the effects of a mental illness, they often withdraw from friends and family, which erodes the support system that is so vital to mental health.
Illnesses such as anxiety and depression can affect moods and sleep in a way that leech confidence and energy out of sufferers.
Oftentimes they can leave people feeling empty of meaning and mo-tivation. This can lead to tanking grades and disinterest in subjects that were once favorites.
Practicing self-care techniques such as exercise and relaxation can help some students fight mental illness on their own, but professional treatment ranges from counseling to medication, depending on each individual case. Even if Counseling and Psychological Services cannot provide treatment for students, they can still point them in the direction of proper treatment, and they are an excellent resource for students to start if they do not know where to go.
If you think you are starting to develop a mental illness like anxiety or depression, do not hesitate to seek treatment.