Why reaching out for mental health matters

College is a significant time for change while most engage with new friend groups and try new hobbies. But with that also comes the mounds of homework, living independently which can be overwhelming and mentally draining for a young adult. 

With September being suicide awareness month, there is no doubt that mental health is a serious topic the majority of students all around the country are struggling with or have struggled with at some point in their lives.

But how they chose to cope with their mental health is a huge factor. Drinking alcohol is linked to a range of mental health issues from depression and memory loss, to suicide.

The Counseling Center at Minnesota State University, Mankato offers a variety of different groups and workshops that are meant to improve the emotional well-being of students. These services are free to all students enrolled at MNSU.

Also offered are screening appointments for students which are about 20 to 30 minute appointments to talk one on one with a qualified counselor. 

During your screening, a counselor will clarify information from your screening paperwork, discuss your mental health and academic goals, and will recommend a Care Plan.

Some additional services offered throughout the academic year include the four workshops this fall semester which include Anxiety Toolbox, Feel Better Fast, Getting Unstuck, and Meaning Making Amidst Loss.

Other upcoming groups include our Men’s Group, Beyond Trauma, and Graduate Student.The Discovering Yourself series kicks off Friday October 9 at 3:00 p.m. with Body Compassion “Learn the Power of self-compassion to achieve body acceptance and appreciation” offered via zoom.

“It’s absolutely okay to not be okay, it’s important for students to know they don’t have to suffer alone,” Tom Allen, psychologist with the counseling center at MNSU shared.

“It’s important to talk about depression as depression can feel lonely and isolating. It’s incredibly important to know that you are not alone,” said Allen.

Homework and exams are a common denominator for students when expressing what stresses them out.

“I think mental health is something everyone struggles with, like the stress of  getting good grades,” Camille Hart, freshman at MNSU said.

“Since college is very different compared to high school I think a lot of my stress comes from getting used to the new classes and how they do things,” Annika Anderson, freshman at MNSU stated.

“I think it’s common for college students to be stressed and depressed and I think it can be really overwhelming at times with all of the heavy assignments we get assigned,” Huijun Oh, freshman at MNSU shared.

However, the university does have a relaxation station that is located in the Health Education office in room 100 of Carkoski Commons. Some amenities include a massage chair, visual relaxation system, and aromatherapy.

The city of Mankato also hosted an Out of Darkness Walk on Saturday at Sibley Park. This walk is a annual event that is aimed to raise awareness and fundraisers for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention as well as support survivors of suicide loss.

Another huge project in progress is “Project 25” this is a mission set by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to prevent as many suicides as possible in the United States and decrease the annual suicide rate 20 percent by 2025. 

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