Homework, exams, essays and the like all come with a new year of school, and for many students, this brings an assortment of mental health issues that must be dealt with as well.
The American Psychological Association (APA) found that approximately 86 percent of students with a psychiatric disability left school without completing their degrees. According to Collegstats.org, 50 percent of students have struggled greatly with anxiety and 80 percent feel overwhelmed by their student responsibilities.
Students are struggling with their mental health and are not seeking proper health care. The Active Minds Club is new for students at Lewis and Clark Community College.
“The goal of Active Minds is to change the conversation about mental health and destigmatize mental illness, and support programs and activities that support dialogue for students,” said Head of Active Minds Christina Chapman.
The club offers students a yoga/meditation/prayer room in Baldwin 4422 so that they may deal with whatever is troubling them in a calming environment.
The Active Minds club also teaches others to practice the V.A.R. method to help those in need: Validate someone’s concerns, Appreciate them for breaking the silence and asking for help, and Refer them to what they might need next.
Active Minds wants to start two other projects, too. One is a “Send Silence Packing” initiative and the other is to build a walking labyrinth. More information on these projects can be found at activeminds.org.
Ninety-five percent of college counseling center directors surveyed said that they have growing concerns for the number of students with significant psychological problems, according to the Association for University and College Counseling.
The 2016-2017 academic year saw a total of 468 students who sought counseling at Lewis and Clark, according to L&C’s Student Development and Counseling Services.
Since 2005, over 350 students seek counseling every year, with the lowest academic year being 2007-2008 at 389 students, and the highest year being 2009-2010 with 646 students.
“It’s a time of great anxiety for young people and with that anxiety comes worry and often depression,” said Lewis and Clark counselor Renee Bauer. “That, along with trying to pick a career choice becomes a perfect storm.”
Bauer’s job is to help give counsel to students, sometimes instructors or other students will contact her with concerns.
Just this year, four male students came to her. Three of the men told her that the fourth student really needed help, but made sure that he spoke up about what was going on with him.
These three students recognized their friend was troubled and made an exceptional group effort to support him by taking him to someone who could help and helping him admit his struggle.
To learn more about counseling services at L&C, visit www.lc.edu/counseling.