Our school needs to provide more care for mental health on campus.
All students and faculty endure some level of mental strain that’s dangerous when not handled properly.
Depression and anxiety are universal, around 1 in 5 American adults (43 million people) personally experience a mental illness at some point during a calendar year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Every person in the Delta community has ties with mental disorders whether it be personal or from a loved one. In more serious cases, we have students suffering from common mental illnesses such as Bipolar Disorder and ADHD, many of which go undiagnosed due to this lack of awareness.
Look at your peers’ faces while walking around campus and you will understand why this is crucial.
I recently attended a meeting on campus regarding anxiety and depression for a project. Only a handful of people, within a certain discipline group, were notified of this event, yet turnout was plentiful.
Attendees described their experience with these disorders in detail.
We must understand that this is a part of everyday life. A 2016 survey by the American College Health Association reported that around 53 percent of college students show signs of depression.
We have students walking around under clouds of misery and stress with no accessible resources to assist them.
Poor mental health awareness leads directly to poor performance and dropouts.
The mind is a powerful thing, the most significant organ we carry.
Though our campus’ wellness resources are there for students actively searching for them, they still seem invisible.
Students have no faith in our counseling department, and rightfully so. I challenge any reader right now to go book a counseling appointment.
On the topic of depression – or any disorder – is one that is difficult to discuss and making students jump through hoops to receive help encourages us to believe the school doesn’t care.
So, what exactly can the school do?
I understand tight funding and school politics cause difficulties in making significant change, but when significant change is necessary we must take progressive steps.
Counselor Heather Bradford is leading the charge in providing our community with necessary assistance and her superiors need to follow.
Bradford is the lead counselor when it comes to health and wellness, and she actively works to provide us with resources regarding mental health.
As well as providing her services as a personal counselor, Bradford instructs guidance courses on campus that are based on enhancing self esteem and transitioning to college, amongst other things.
Bradford also holds seminars to assist students with knowledge of self/wellness. Her next seminar “Re-Claiming Your Health & Wellness!” takes place on Feb. 27 in the DeRicco Building Room 275 from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Her efforts are currently impactful to an extent; but our community needs more.
Does more mean more counselors? More funding?
I don’t have the answer to that. Those who are in positions to take care of our students, and claim to care for our students, must do so now by developing the school’s wellness services.