De-Stigmatizing the Counseling Center
Issue   |   Tue, 04/08/2014 - 21:44
www.amherst.edu
The Counseling Center is holding an opening house this Thursday evening from 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

If you were to ask students what the greatest health concern is here at Amherst College, they might give answers such as the binge-drinking culture, or maybe the recent measles breakout over at Smith. However, there is a major health concern that flies under the radar even though it affects a significant number of students on a daily basis. It can go quiet and unnoticed, and if it is noticed, it is often brushed off.

The widespread prevalence of depression and anxiety among students is a troubling topic that deserves to be addressed. In a 2012 health survey at Amherst, 33% of students reported having been so depressed that it was difficult to function. It’s a concerning statistic, and it’s also important to note that it is higher than the national average for college students (31%). If this statistic seems surprising, it may be because depressive behavior is not immediately apparent to others and often goes unnoticed unless help is sought out. Unfortunately, many students dismiss these serious problems as being an expected or normal part of Amherst’s academic rigor. Granted, some level of stress is expected, but what if stress spirals out of control?

Depression is often triggered by outside factors: a loss, a breakup, a traumatic experience, or academic stress. That being said, outside factors are not always the root of the problem. Feelings of low self worth, lack of control or lack of support from friends or family can contribute to depressive behavior. Depression can also arise from a combination of seemingly small events that align and cause feelings of hopelessness or despair.

Anxiety disorders are similar in that they can be caused by internal factors, external factors or a combination. While anxiety is a normal human emotion, those with anxiety disorders can experience the emotion on a constant basis and sometimes without warning. Test anxiety and social anxiety are common forms of this disorder.

College students are especially susceptible to stress, depression and anxiety. Fortunately, college students also have the incredible opportunity to receive free counseling from the Counseling Center. While therapists and psychiatrists in the outside world can be wildly expensive, Amherst’s counseling center offers free and easily accessible appointments to anyone, regardless of the reason. Many students know that the Counseling Center exists but have the notion that their problem isn’t “big” enough to warrant making an appointment. The Counseling Center will help students with any number of problems, big or small. The opportunity to talk to someone in a non-judgmental, confidential environment can lift a substantial amount of weight off of one’s shoulders.

In an effort to address mental health issues on campus and de-stigmatize the Counseling Center, a number of groups on campus are holding events this week. Yesterday, the CCE, SHEs, Keep Sound Minds, TWLOHA, the Mental Health and Wellness Task Force and the Counseling Center sponsored a “Stress Management and Resiliency Event.” The event featured the premiere of the film “Let’s Talk,” sponsored by Mental Health Education and filmed by Kate Beemer ’15 and Annika Nygren ’16. The film aims to start discussions surrounding de-stigmatizing struggling at Amherst.

“Whether it be with friends, an RC, a professor, the Counseling Center or any of the other fabulous resources we have here on campus, we want people to start being more open with each other and themselves” said Annika Nygren ’16.

The film features four students who bravely share their “story” of a time in which they struggled, and the resources they used to overcome their situation.

“On our small campus and with the number of students we had participate in the filming, Kate and I believe that every Amherst student who watches this video will recognize at least one person throughout the film,” said Nygren.

“Let’s Talk” encourages students to open up to the peers that they trust and also be good listeners. For those who want to improve their listening skills, Mental Health Educator Jessica Gifford is teaming up with the Peer Advocates to host an Active Listening Skills workshop. The workshop will be this Thursday evening from 7-8:30 p.m. in the McCaffrey room.

The SHEs are hosting a number of events this week to promote mental health and well-being amongst students. Tonight, Professor of Economics Daniel Barbezat will host a talk titled “Well Being at Amherst: a Discussion about Daily Stresses and Pursuing Happiness.” Professor Barbezat, who recently authored a book on mindfulness in higher education, teaches a first-year seminar called “Happiness” and an Economics course called “Consumption and the Pursuit of Happiness.” The talk will be at 8 p.m. in Pruyne lecture hall.

Additionally, the SHEs are hosting a day to “unplug” from technology on Thursday, April 10th. Technology use has been linked to higher levels of stress, anxiety and loss of sleep. Students can sign up in Keefe to participate in a technology-free hike with the SHEs on Thursday afternoon.

For those who would like to learn more, the Counseling Center is hosting an open house on Thursday, April 17th from 3:30 to 5 p.m.. Students can meet the staff and refreshments will be provided.

Stress can seem like a daily part of life to Amherst students. If it escalates quickly, feels overwhelming or gets in the way of normal daily activities, help is easily accessible. To avoid a level of stress that becomes problematic, students of all backgrounds should consider making an appointment at the Counseling Center. No problem is too small, and talking to someone can help get students back on track to enjoying all the wonderful opportunities that Amherst has to offer.

Anchor
Comments
Lillie (not verified) says:
Sat, 11/07/2015 - 03:46

Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the pictures
on this blog loading? I'm trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it's the
blog. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

my web blog :: Garcinia Thin Secret

Stephen (not verified) says:
Sat, 11/07/2015 - 05:36
Leonore (not verified) says:
Wed, 12/02/2015 - 21:37

I like the valuable information you provide in your
articles. I'll bookmark your blog and check again here regularly.
I'm quite sure I will learn plenty of new stuff right here!
Good luck garcinia cambogia for weight loss the next!

Noelia (not verified) says:
Wed, 12/02/2015 - 21:56

Hi there! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would
be okay. I'm undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward to
new updates.

My webpage Youth Serum Skincare

Leta (not verified) says:
Wed, 12/02/2015 - 22:00

Depending upon what you're looking for in your software, this
is less expensive than many worth of web the other options available, but remember that
it also does less stuff than a program like
Scrum - Desk is equipped to do. The basic value of that website domain is hereby associated to constructive things that would increase the potential demand.
Without free traffic from the search engines, other traffic generation strategies that usually require payment must be engaged.

Abigail (not verified) says:
Wed, 12/02/2015 - 22:05

Generally I do not learn article on blogs, however I wish
to say that this write-up very pressured me to
try and do it! Your writing style has been surprised me.
Thank you, very great post.

my site ... Elvis

Angeline (not verified) says:
Wed, 12/02/2015 - 22:05

Excellent weblog here! Also your web site rather
a lot up very fast! What web host are you using? Can I am getting your associate hyperlink in your host?

I desire my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol

Feel free to visit my web blog - Cognizera

Octavio (not verified) says:
Wed, 12/02/2015 - 22:06

For the reason that the admin of this web site is working, no doubt very soon it will be renowned, due to its quality contents.

Also visit my web site - https://www.facebook.com

Curtis (not verified) says:
Mon, 02/29/2016 - 15:52

I don't even know how I finished up right here, but
I assumed this post was once great. I don't understand who you might be however definitely you are going to a
famous blogger when you are not already. Cheers!

Also visit my site workout supplement (bestsupplementsformuscle.pw)

Wilfredo (not verified) says:
Sun, 04/17/2016 - 05:46

Hi there excellent website! Does running a blog such as this require a lot
of work? I have no knowledge of computer programming but I was hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyway, if
you have any recommendations or tips for new
blog owners please share. I know this is off subject
but I just needed to ask. Thanks a lot!

My homepage: happy fathers day greetings to my husband

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.