IV Leader is the student newspaper of Illinois Valley Community College

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Mental health Don’t be afraid to seek help you need

Stephanie Bias, Assistant Editor-In-Chief

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In any given year, one in four Americans have a diagnosable mental health disorder.

However, this does not mean those who are struggling plan to seek help from a medical professional.

In fact, when it comes to college students, only 2% indicate they would seek help from a mental health professional or faculty member in times of need.

Instead, 80% of college students plan to turn to friends and peers in times of distress.

According to Active Minds, an organization that aims to promote mental health awareness on college campuses, 48% of American college students feel overwhelmed by all they have to do, 16% feel hopeless and 10% are so depressed that they find it difficult to function.

IVCC’s Disability Services believes that mental health is an important topic worth discussing. On Oct. 9, Disability Services will host “A Day Without Stigma.”

The day will serve as an opportunity to begin conversation and raise awareness about mental health issues on college campuses.

Various clubs, faculty, and staff will be involved with the event. Information will be handed out to students in the Student Life Center, including statistics and literature discussing mental health disorders. A list of resources for learning more or getting help will be offered as well.

Tina Hardy, Illinois Valley Community College’s Disability Services Coordinator, works with students who struggle with mental health disorders. In addition to suggesting professional help, Hardy often encourages students to visit a variety of websites that are geared towards students.

Hardy recommends that students visit the following sites: http://activeminds.org, http://jedfoundation.org, http://halfofus.com and http://ulifeline.org.

Active Minds offers a variety of information about mental health disorders. It is an organization that works closely with college campuses, and Hardy is currently looking into starting an Active Minds chapter at IVCC.

Jed Foundation provides call and text hotlines for those who need someone to talk to. Jed is the parent company of Half of Us and U Lifeline.

Half of Us offers additional information about mental health and features stories about celebrities who have mental health disorders.

U Lifeline is perhaps one of the best resources that Hardy recommends, as it offers a self-evaluator.

Students can complete the assessment in under 20 minutes, and the results indicate any mental health disorders students may be suffering from.

“Get on those websites,” Hardy said. “There is so much you can do to be better.”

More information on A Day Without Stigma will be released as Oct. 9 approaches. Hardy hopes that this day will be beneficial to all students and staff.

“The IVCC community will be offered the opportunity to show their support for those who live with mental health issues,” Hardy said.

“Hopefully this will be just the start of the conversation on campus.”

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IV Leader is the student newspaper of Illinois Valley Community College
Mental health Don’t be afraid to seek help you need