Mental Health Awareness Grows in May

counseling
counseling
CASEY MCCARTY | THE SPECTRUM
Attendance to the counseling center is free of cost and has no session limits for students.

The month of May brings flowers and also mental health awareness.

Mental health issues refer to a variety of health conditions and disorders that affect thinking, behavior, and mood. Through the end of the semester NDSU’s counseling center will continue holding individual, group and crisis services.

North Dakota State reports online that “attitudes towards mental health issues appear to be changing. Negative attitudes and stigma associated with mental health have reduced and there has been growing acceptance towards mental health issues and support for people with them.”

Throughout the month of May “the counseling center does offer a number of outreach opportunities, usually by partnering with residence life and other student-focused organizations” said Amber Bach-Gorman, assistant director of counseling services and clinical and crisis services counselor.

The opportunities will include workshops on stress management, activities involving registered therapy animals and educational programming focusing on mental health concerns and education. The counseling center sees a slight decrease in services used by students in May as students start preparing for finals and summer.

“Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition,” NDSU reported online. “In 2013, President Obama proclaimed May as National Mental Health Awareness Month and brought the issue of mental health to the forefront of our nation’s thoughts.”

“Students usually utilize our individual counseling for personal, emotional concerns,” Bach-Gorman said.

The top two reasons students utilize the counseling services are for anxiety and depression, she added. During May the most used services by students are for career counseling, along with graduate students as they prepare to transition to the working world.

The counseling center sees a slight change in hours starting during dead week as they prepare to transition into summer hours, but all the traditional counseling services will still be available.

NDSU said online that “there’s no sure way to prevent mental illness” and “people are encouraged to take responsibility for the prevention of mental health issues during times of personal challenge and stress. Many mental health problems can be avoided by making positive lifestyle decisions in how we act and think before they can manifest.”

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