Seek assistance for college stress

Delaney Lovett

Shootings like the one at an Ohio high school earlier this week are all too common an occurrence, but what is often not given enough attention is the mental well-being of the individuals behind the bullets.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death in college students, according to the National Alliance of Mental Health, compared to being the ninth leading cause for the general population.

An in-depth study conducted by a University of Texas at Austin professor showed over half of college students have considered suicide at some point in life or have had an episode of suicidal thinking.

These numbers seem shocking, but less so when the pressures of college life are taken into consideration; students’ resources, namely time and money, are running out with no means of control.

The college years, regardless of which school a student attends, act as a transition from childhood to adulthood, but often leave students struggling to make ends meet. Along with attending school full-time, many college students also hold time-consuming but scarcely paid jobs.

To add more pressure, some students have additional commitments, such as an internship, a family to care for or a sport to play. With ever-expensive tuition and a struggling economy, it is plain to see how challenging and complicated college life can become.

This stress without relief can lead to deeper problems, like anxiety and depression, which are too complex and dangerous for students to handle alone.

Those who try to face their problems without professional help can make them worse or take riskier approaches like turning to substances to ease the pain.

Society puts pressure on people, especially the college-aged, to conform to stereotypes. It is unattractive to be unhappy, but acting happy and avoiding legitimate problems will not cure anything.

It is OK to have problems – as minor as homesickness and as major as suicidal thoughts. What’s not OK, however, is to let them build up instead of confronting them with help from an adult.

Students at Northern Michigan University are lucky to have Counseling and Consultation Services available to them free of charge and they even offer emergency sessions when necessary.

Counselors work closely with clients to overcome troubling situations and adversity, and to develop a collaborative plan for a healthy future. All information is kept completely confidential and students are welcome to use their services for significant problems or even just for personal growth.

Do not let personal struggles and stress reach the point of suicidal thinking. Mental illness is just as serious as physical illness and both should be treated by a professional.

Call CCS at (906) 227-2980 to schedule an appointment.