For many of you, it’s easy to associate a wholesome college experience with friendship, challenges, clubs, and campus activities, but how often do you associate your college experience with poor mental health, stress, depression, or anxiety?
Unfortunately, many college students sacrifice their own mental well-being for good grades and maintaining a conscientious effort towards their future careers.
A lot of students often relate mental health issues to major psychological disorders, and end up disregarding their own well-being due to this widely-spread mindset. Then they eventually equate mental health to a very Hollywood depiction of mentally-ill individuals. This stigma around mental health is exactly what pushes people away from acknowledging their own mental health state.
The lack of mental health conversations on campus attests to how difficult it seems to solve this issue of establishing healthy habits pertaining to one’s mental health, especially considering how divisive the stigma is towards people who need support. So here’s an important question to answer: what can students do to keep track of their mental well-being, and how can a college campus like St. John’s serve as a reliable support system to help students along the way?
As for students, it is important to ask ourselves if we are paying attention to our own mental needs. The Princeton Review’s 2020 edition ranked St. John’s at a disappointing #5 on the list of “Least Happy College Students,” which tells us that improvement of mental health management on our campus is necessary.
As for the support system on campus, St. John’s has several resourceful crisis intervention services for both sexual assault cases and self-harm/dangerous health conditions. These helpful resources include Student Health Services, as well as The Center for Counseling and Consultation, which is an on-campus health and wellness service, open to all students, offering free confidential support in Marillac Hall Room 130. The Campus Support Advisor is also available for all SJU students and can be reached at 718-990-8484.
You might have seen the occasional SJUOK? posters around campus and inside most buildings, so it is safe to say that the idea of managing good mental health is present on campus. However, these resources are not advocated enough. We urge faculty and student support staff to expand their support through helpful events and daily exercises for students to attend and participate in. It’s important to make this process as engaging as possible.
The community, as a whole, should work more on changing the misconceptions about mental health, sharing helpful tips, resources and educating all campus faculty and professors about the importance of mental health. Professors spend a lot of time with students, so it would be helpful if they can notice students who are struggling emotionally and direct them to the right resources.
Taking care of our mental health and educating ourselves and the people around us about utilizing various tools and resources is a big step in living a healthy lifestyle.