Counseling Services Update

Raising awareness for mental health

Grace Kronick, [email protected]

University Counseling Services sponsored several events last week as part of Mental Health Awareness week. Their goal was to promote awareness of issues like depression, sexual violence and sexual assault among college students. Teresa Miller hosted the first event, a viewing of the short documentary “It’s Real: College Students and Mental Health.”  

The movie focused on six college students talking about what they did to stay mentally healthy. They urged students to recognize and acknowledge their mental health struggles and reach out for help before reaching the point of sleeping all day and not going to class.

“I decided to show that particular documentary because it has personal, relatable stories as well as being hopeful,” Miller stated. “I liked that the documentary has a natural approach to the issue.”

Maranda, one of the students in the movie, says, “I feel like I can just say, ‘I’m struggling with depression’, or ‘hey I have a counseling appointment today’. It feels great because I am not ashamed of it.” 

Students should not be afraid to talk about such issues because they are not alone. They can find ways to cope with mental health issues to continue achieving their career goals and be happy in life.

Miller shared that in spring 2018, the National College Health Assessment reported “fourteen percent of UW-Platteville students within the past year  experienced a thought of suicide.” The same study found that 64 percent of students last year said they felt very sad at some point, and a total of 34.5 percent of student self-reported feeling so depressed that it was difficult to function at some point. Fifty-nine percent of students felt overwhelming anxiety at some point.

This issue was discussed by Darby, one of the six students from the documentary, who said, “I remember at soccer practice this one night after I started cutting, I put my hand in to do the team cheer and hoped that someone would see the cuts and ask me about them and ask if I was okay, but no one did.”

Miller encouraged students to “find a safe support system” and to be involved in healthy activities. 

Some of the other events that are part of Mental Health Awareness Week are the “Stop the Hate” Challenge and the Mens’ Mental Health Panel. 

This semester University Counseling Services will also sponsor Wellness Tuesdays starting September 17, stress relief events during finals week and a Campus Climate Dialogue (How to Help Yourself and Others).