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Mental Health Counselors and Resources for College Students

2021.08.11 15 min

4552 Words

 

Understanding Student Mental Health: Common Issues & Support

 

Since college represents a challenging part of life for many students, a plethora of mental health issues often become apparent. Starting with PTSD, drug abuse, depression, and the cases of anxiety to such issues as suicide risks, racial conflicts, and all types of bullying, it is vital to get access to relevant resources and receive immediate support. When a student can look through resources and realize that help is out there, it also helps to prevent the aforementioned issues and raise mental health awareness in society. 

The Most Common Aspects of Turbulent College Life 

 

It must be mentioned that mental health counselors these days also deal with the issues like suicide prevention, school dropouts, and anything related to juvenile justice. Turning to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), they also mention personal issues like losing a sibling to cancer or going through various traumas received on a battlefield during the military service. The access to resources brings up serious concerns as the majority of these issues are not brought up among college students and young people due to a sense of shame and the fear of social stigmatizing or isolation. Therefore, the aim of our guide is to list the most common issues and provide you with helpful resources for every case. 

The Types of Mental Health Providers 

 

Thankfully, these days an average college student can receive various types of help. 

 

  • Mental Health Counselors. 

 

You can start by checking Mental Health Resources (MHR) website, which lists various community-based services that include the most popular issues that range from physical traumas (abuse, domestic violence, accident traumas) to substance abuse and various social conflicts. 

 

Turning to general mental health counseling should be your first step, yet when you are dealing with violent behaviors or conditions like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, approaching psychiatric help is essential. Since it was announced that May 2021 is Mental Health Month, even more local help centers became available across the US. 

  • Psychologists. 

 

They provide basic psychological help that may include anything from ADHD and Autism to PTSD and dealing with issues like child abuse and bullying. As it may be a bit challenging to find relevant specialists, you may consider checking the ULifeline organization to look through online resources aimed at college students. 

  • Psychiatrists. 

 

According to American Psychiatry Association, students that feel concerned about their health (as well as the parents) should check available brochures and seek consulting services. You can always approach one of the organization’s branches in your relevant state. 

  • Clinical Social Workers. 

 

Turning to the Good Therapy website, you can enter your city or a zipcode to find Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs), Licensed Addiction Counselors (LACs), and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs). 

  • Approaching Student Coaching Clubs 

 

Finally, you can also join special student coaching (mental health) clubs at your college. These also involve students like you as the staff members, which is helpful with basic issues like bullying, healthy eating, anxiety, or depression. 

Drug Abuse and Alcoholism

 

Dealing with drug abuse and alcoholism represents a major problem among college students today who turn to binge drinking, especially during their first year of studies. The same relates to drug abuse and the use of various “energy” substances that promise to make students feel energetic and fit, yet break them down both physically and mentally. 

How to Avoid Drug & Alcohol Abuse in School

 

The safest way would be to join the Drug Awareness Curriculum at your college or become a part of peer support groups. The most important is to reach out to people or consider special recovery schools. Such a method will make it possible to join so-called alternative schools where trained specialists and educators will help you study as you recover from drug abuse or alcoholism. 

How to Deal with Peer Pressure in School

 

This aspect is more challenging because students going through substance recovery hardly get any support as they are invited to binge drinking parties or are totally ignored. You must seek help by cooperating with those students who show understanding and join student clubs that help to maintain sobriety. 

Online and Phone Resources For Students 

 

Dealing with substance abuse or alcoholism, consider checking these resources: 

 

Operation Unite. It offers over 145 clubs for school students that help learners to avoid drugs and alcohol by implementing helpful prevention and intervention programs. 

 

Prevention Club. Another option of group therapy that hosts both physical and virtual meetings.

 

The Association of Recovery Schools. It is aimed at students and parents that seek a recovery school in their local city. This extensive database contains available options. 

 

Alternatively, you can turn to American Addiction Centers Hotline where you can use both text chat versions or give a call at: 

Free Alcohol & Substance Addiction Hotline: (866) 649-0184. 

 

Overdose Hotline: 1-800-222-1222. 

 

When unsure of your situation related to substance-use disorders and addiction, it is recommended to call 911 immediately. By doing so, you can help save lives! 

 

LGBTQIA + 

 

Even though belonging to LGBTQ+ does not represent a mental illness per se, young people that represent this community still face harsh cases of physical or mental abuse, bullying, hate, and social prejudice. It causes stress and depression on most occasions, yet may also lead to a necessity of suicide prevention or self-harm. 

 

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – LGBTQ Section. It has articles, helpful resources, explanatory videos, research links, and assistance. 

 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – LGBT Youth. Learn about your challenges from a scientific point of view. 

 

LGBT National Help Center. It has online support chat and free phone counseling. 

 

GLBT Near Me. This great resource has over 15,000 safe centers and tools aimed at young people. 

 

The Trevor Project. – LGBTQ + crisis prevention resources for people aged between 13 and 24. 

People of Color 

 

Unfortunately, ethnic conflicts have always been among those issues that cause low self-esteem and depression among college students and schoolchildren. Students that represent ethnic minorities or belong to people of color often face mental pressure, racism, and physical abuse. It is vital to avoid standing back in silence! 

 

If you see a friend in trouble or if you need help yourself, consider these resources: 

 

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services – Office of Minority Health. It offers statistical information, helpful resources, and ways of mental assistance treatment for people of color. 

 

Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective. General mental health support for African Americans that focuses on emotional healthcare and healing. 

 

Psychology Today Directory of African American Therapists. A great resource dealing with Psychology and African American communities.  

 

Dear Black Women Project. Abuse help, therapists, and mental assistance. 

 

One Sky Center. It is aimed at American Indigenous and Alaskan natives and provides resources for health and education. 

 

We R Native. A help center for indigenous youth. You can also explore it for educational grants and assistance. 

 

Finally, you can always seek help at your college by turning to their legal terms and conditions that ought to protect ethnic minorities. Consider talking to your academic advisor about it and study your institution’s rules. 

Children and Adolescents

 

It is not often discussed in the media, yet children and adolescents also require private mental help as they are going through domestic abuse or need to report school bullying. When the parents or legal guardians do not believe them, children often face anxiety as a result of family separation, physical violence, or traumas, which makes them turn to substance abuse. Regardless of your age and psyche development, it is vital to consider these organizations when you need help: 

 

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services – Mental Health in Adolescents. It is a great resource for children and parents where you can find resources and Hotline phone numbers to receive immediate care based on the state and the city of your residence. 

 

The JED Foundation. It is aimed at helping children and adolescents with severe mental and emotional issues. From school to college, it addresses problems of bullying and suicide prevention typical for student life and related pressure today. 

 

U.S. Government – Youth Mental Health Resources. It includes information about substance abuse help, LGBT, bullying, homelessness, PTSD, domestic abuse, and more. 

 

LawLifeline. It is a free and anonymous online resource that you can trust as a student majoring in Law. You will find information about issues like depression, anxiety, stress, suicide, and self-harm. 

 

UCLA’s Center For Mental Health in Schools and Student Learning Support. It is a great resource for parents and educators who want to research mental health problems and contact professionals. 

 

If you know of a child going through domestic, mental, physical, or sexual abuse or you experience it yourself as a child or adolescent, contact Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at: 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-44-53. 

Anxiety and Depression

 

Anxiety and depression represent the most common issue among college students, which is not always posing a serious concern since we all are dealing with peer pressure, financial independence, or living away from home. Still, if the signs of depression and anxiety affect your daily routine and studies, it is high time to consult professional help or at least find out about available mental health resources

 

Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). It has a plethora of resources for children and adults facing anxiety, depression, PTSD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and various neurological traumas. It provides contact information regarding local help and lists licensed professionals. 

 

Freedom From Fear. This NGO offers various information and treatment methods for individuals suffering from anxiety and depression. It also explores student problems like bullying and self-identity. 

Autism

 

Autism Speaks. Although it is not considered a mental illness per se, this organization provides relevant research and help for autistic students. 

Bipolar Disorder 

 

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. It is a great resource for students and parents dealing with depression and bipolar disorder as a related issue. It has publications, contacts of trustworthy clinicians, brochures, audio podcasts, and explanatory training sessions. 

 

Most importantly, remember that we all are going through depression sometimes and it can be normal in certain cases. Yet when you feel that you cannot cope on your own or it has taken several weeks, always seek professional help!  

 

Suicide Prevention

 

The challenges of suicide prevention remain one of the worst issues not only in the United States but all over the world. Contrary to the popular belief, all students and schoolchildren can easily get into a situation where they require professional help and immediate action. Starting with cyberbullying and usual bullying to conflicts with the parents or getting one’s heartbroken, it is essential to take care of each other as you cope with grief and loss

 

When in an emergency, contact 911 or related Hotline services right away! 

 

Here are the important phone calls to remember: 

 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It provides 24/7 phone and online counseling and support services. It is confidential and toll-free. Call 1-800-273-TALK for counseling and local referencing or contact 911 immediately. 

 

National Domestic Violence Hotline. By calling 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), students and children can receive confidential support and help. As a victim of domestic violence and abuse, you have a right to live in safety. 

 

Safe Horizon. This organization provides a hotline for victims of sexual assault, crimes, and physical abuse. It offers counseling services and consulting. 

 

  • 1-800-621-HOPE for domestic violence cases. 
  • 1-866-689-HELP for the crime victims (like gun violence trauma). 
  • 1-212-227-3000 for victims of rape and sexual assault. 

Take your time to read about upcoming Suicide Prevention Month (Septemer 2021) and remember to always call 911 in an emergency! 

 

Where to Get Help for a Student?

Online and Off-Campus Resources 

 

Depending on your problem and mental condition, you can consider checking: 

 

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Mental Health America

Network of Care

Attention Deficit Disorder Association

Emotions Anonymous

 

Parents of the younger learners may consider exploring the Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health or turn to the SAMHSA Treatment Locator system. 

 

Additionally, turning to American Counseling Association, take your time to read more about Counseling Awareness Month and find a relevant counselor locally. 

College Resources 

 

Remember that you can also receive professional mental help services on campus. These are confidential and free of charge since you have a right to help as a college student. In most cases, it will include special counseling where you can interact either with a specialist alone or work in a group of students. Consult your college website or academic counselor for more information. 

 

How Mental Health Counseling Can Help a Student

Mental health counseling is not something that makes you weak, abnormal or any less of a person. Thousands of students approach mental health counseling services as a part of their legal health insurance as they struggle with exams, peer pressure, thoughts of suicide, finding their identity, or dealing with cases of bullying. Even when you feel homesick or sad all the time, turning to professional mental help or joining one of the student’s coaching clubs can be a solution that will make your life’s outlook much brighter. 

Finally, by exploring the aforementioned resources, you can address various relevant issues like Autism, PTSD, ADHD, anxiety, fear of failing, and many other things. You do not have to suffer in silence because you have a right to live a normal life! 

Additional Resources for Students and Parents


Here are some other mental health resources you should consider:

National Institute of Mental Health. A lot of helpful information for adolescents and adults on how mental disorders can be treated and identified. 

 

Teen Mental Health. It has active social media pages and chats for students and schoolchildren. 

 

Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. It offers mental health support, counseling, self-development tips, and various helpful resources. 

 

Psychology Today. This magazine usually replies to letters and messages of the readers so if you want to explore some topic or ask a question, this is the way to go! 

 

A Healthy Place Foundation. Resources, basic information, conditions, explanations, self-care resources for counselors, and fun psychological tests. 

 

Behaviour Online. An interesting resource that studies the way how your behavior and meditation can address your mental issues and prevent them. 

 

In case you need immediate help, you can contact Lifeline chat by using either your laptop or your phone. Their trained specialists are available 24/7. 

 

Using Available Mental Health Resources Correctly 

 

It is quite often that students do not know where to start when they feel troubled or they know someone who is in trouble. It is better to be safe than sorry when you see a troubled friend or someone dealing with abuse or addiction. You can safely talk to specialists to find out what actions can be taken and discuss confidentiality and safety matters. Use our resources above, explore the subject, and it will always pay off as you approach professional help

 

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