According to a dictionary definition, mental health is described as “a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being.” It is apparent from this definition that mental health is a very broad topic. It can range from having anorexia to experiencing PTSD.
The Equinox is deciding to open up a discussion about mental health and what it means to us. We would like to work toward eliminating the stigmas associated with being diagnosed with a mental illness. We encourage all who may be suffering from some sort of mental discomfort to realize that they are not alone, and that it is vital they reach out for help. Here on campus, it is important that students take the time to explore their options for help.
Any student who may be experiencing any form of mental discomfort should access the counseling center. According to their webpage, “The Counseling Center at Keene State College offers a diverse range of short-term emotional health services to all KSC students.”
They are located on the third floor of the Elliot Center and are open Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Students can make appointments by calling 603-358-2437 or using email to set up an appointment.
By reaching out to someone at the counseling center, the student may be referred for further help or they may be freed of their mental discomfort simply by talking about their issues and realizing they are not being left in the dark.
It is inevitable that college students face multiple stressors on a daily basis. The combination of being on your own, keeping up with classes and school work, having a job, possibly playing a sport and trying to maintain a social life can be a challenging act to balance. While it is important that students remain both physically and academically healthy, oftentimes students lose sight of the mental aspect of overall health.
We would like to stress the importance of becoming mentally fit. Mental health is just as important as any other type of health. If a student starts to recognize signs of depression or an eating disorder, they cannot ignore this for the sake of embarrassment or shame. It is our hope that students understand that it is human to have emotions. But it is also dire that we recognize when our emotions or abnormalities have reached a point where they interfere with our daily lives and routines.
Many people decide to keep their feelings inside because they fear reaching out for help will give them some kind of label. Being classified as a person with an eating disorder can have a very negative connotation. Not many people want to be referred to as a person with any kind of “disorder.”
KSC as a community should seek out better ways to refer to these issues. We need to rid ourselves of the negative connotations that come along with labeling these struggles as a disorder.
One of the worst things someone can do when they begin to experience warning signs of a possible mental health condition is retreat, because that only magnifies the issue. Experiencing emotional reactions to life is normal, and so is seeking help. Just as there is nothing wrong or shameful in receiving a cast to help fix a broken arm, there should be no shame in seeking out a mental health resource to help manage the stress that comes along with human life.
Any students who feel like they are battling something that is bigger than themselves must realize that it is okay to acknowledge their insecurities or negative thoughts. They must realize that there is help all around them, they just need to take that first step in asking for it. One may be surprised by just how many people are there and ready to listen.