JOPLIN, Mo. — Between preparing for a future career and learning who you are as a person — being in college is a vital, but stressful time in many people’s lives.
And for some, that means mental health issues can start up or resurface.
KSN’s Erin Sullivan has that in the next part of our series, The Suicide Crisis: Prevention, Information, And Awareness.
As a co-op student at Missouri Southern and Ozark Christian, Kaycie Gibson is no stranger to the stress and anxiety that comes with taking college courses.
Kaycie Gibson, College Student, said, “I want to get my master’s so getting this bachelor’s right now is really important so that I can get a good GPA and still get a quality education.”
On top of that — working a job to afford for that degree.
“I would go to school from 8-12 and then go to work.”
Balancing a tight schedule, with tight deadlines.
“I think for me a lot of it is anxiety and like making sure that I finish things on time.”
Counselors at the Ozark center see a lot of college students dealing with stress, anxiety, depression or thoughts of suicide.
Roselyn Mostert, Licensed Professional counselor, said, “Some of them have never had that much responsibility on their own before, made that many decisions on their own, and everything seems like it’s such a big deal, it’s my whole future.”
Pressure from family to do well, while juggling multiple responsibilities, can feel overwhelming.
Amy Manrique, Licensed Professional Counselor, said, “You’re balancing your social life, your school, your dating life, children in some aspects. You’ll probably find that you’re never as busy in your life as you were in college.”
Warning signs of someone who may be depressed or dealing with a mental health issue include abrupt changes in behavior or withdrawal from others.
“Then there’s also the temptations of drugs and alcohol that just blossoms during that time it seems,” said Mostert.
If you’re worried about someone, Mostert says not to be afraid to just be upfront with them.
“Sometimes people think they’ll plant the idea if they ask ‘have you thought of harming yourself?’ You will not plant an idea that they didn’t already have. So not being afraid to ask. And to refer them if you feel it’s above your ability.”
There are a lot of local resources that many students may not even realize are available to them.
“On campuses, they have amazing counseling centers. And not only do they have mental health counselors, but they have a connection to the academic side.”
Because managing college life, means managing your feelings first.
“Breaking it down into manageable portions when feeling overwhelmed so you can see that you’re making progress. Versus feeling like you’re just spinning your wheels endlessly,” said Manrique.
If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health and needs someone to talk to, we urge you to call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-talk.
We also have more resources for you on four states home page dot com — just click on the news tab and then the suicide crisis link.