Back to Campus: Mental Health America Develops Resources for College Students
Podcast and national network of Mental Health America affiliates reach students with information on promoting mental health and dealing with college pressures
Contact: Jason Halal, (703) 797-1943 or email@example.com
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (August 23, 2007) - In anticipation of the new school year, Mental Health America and its 320 affiliates nationwide have provided resources to college students on campuses across the nation to help them manage stress levels and address common mental health problems. The August edition of the Mental Health America podcast, Chiming In, explores campus mental health issues and provides tips and resources to help students improve mental health. Chiming In is available free for personal or college radio station use at mentalhealthamerica.net/go/chimingin.
"Mental health is a prerequisite for personal and academic success," said David Shern, Ph.D., president and CEO of Mental Health America. "In fact, just last year, students rated stress the No. 1 barrier to their academic performance, and depression ranked No. 5. The truth is that depression, stress and other mental health problems are shockingly common among college students, but luckily, young people can take concrete actions to improve their mental health and overall well being."
Below are several tips to help avoid and better manage stress during the school year:
Plan carefully. Whether you only have a few hours of class a day, or are juggling a job or athletics, it can be hard to balance schoolwork with other activities. Buy a day planner to help you get organized.
Get enough sleep. Staying up late to finish that paper seems like a great idea at the time, but when the alarm goes off, sleep deprivation takes its toll. Avoid waiting till the last-minute to cram for a test or pull an all-nighter. Do a little work each day and plan for sleep.
Watch your drinking. It may be tempting to use alcohol to relieve stress, but it's a temporary fix. In the end, binge drinking will increase stress rather than decrease it. Over 25% of college students report academic problems linked to alcohol use, so if you choose to drink, set limits for yourself.
Get involved. Attend school activities or join extracurricular student groups. Not only will you make new friends and spend time doing something fun, it will help alleviate stress by giving you something else to think about.
Communicate with roommates. When living with others, small things can grow into friendship-breakers. Avoid anger and resentment by talking to roommates, setting rules and sticking to them. That way, when school seems overwhelming, coming home won't add to the pile.
Watch your spending. Keep track of how much you spend on certain activities each month so you know where your money is going. And be wary of credit cards. The average undergraduate has $2,200 in credit card debt, so avoid the temptation now.
Don't be afraid to ask for help. It's hard to admit you might be struggling, but you're not the only one. Over 30% of freshmen report feeling stressed and "frequently overwhelmed" by everything they have to do. If it gets to that point, it may be time to contact a medical professional for guidance. And if at any point you or a friend thinks about hurting yourself, call 1-800-273-TALK for 24/7 crisis help.
Mental Health America is the country's leading nonprofit dedicated to helping ALL people live mentally healthier lives. With more than 320 affiliates nationwide, we represent a growing movement of Americans who promote mental wellness for the health and well-being of the nation - everyday and in times of crisis.