Students returning to campus urged to check mental health resources / Public News Service

As students head to campus in the coming weeks, mental health experts are urging students and parents to familiarize themselves with the school’s on-site mental health resources.

Three in five college students nationally said they had been diagnosed with anxiety, depression or another mental health condition by a professional, according to a Harris poll released this year.

Virginia Rodilla, manager of the helpline and on-campus support for the National Alliance on Mental Illness-North Carolina, said particularly for incoming freshmen, the coronavirus has disrupted student readiness. a new chapter.

“A lot of young people were stuck at home,” Rodilla pointed out. “They were relying on social media and screen time, less social interaction and a lot of uncertainty around the pandemic and societal issues.”

She added that while colleges typically don’t have staff to manage serious psychiatric disorders, counselors located at health and wellness centers are a first stop for students living on campus. If you or someone you know is considering suicide, contact Suicide and Crisis Lifeline on 988.

Rodilla pointed out that younger students may be used to a parent taking care of health care needs or making appointments, and may not know the details of their health insurance plan and what it covers, if they are insured.

She noted that there are also places to turn for students who are away from home. The Alliance operates a helpline in North Carolina at 1-800-451-9682, available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. She added that experts are on call to help connect students to the right resources.

“After these hours, a student can text the word NAMI to 741-741,” Rodilla insisted. “It’s 24 hours a day, never closes, and a helping professional would be able to refer that person to services and help.”

She pointed out that NAMI works with campuses across the state.

“If anyone is interested in raising mental health awareness on their campus, forming student support groups, organizing awareness and health events, healthy events,” Rodilla pointed out. “They can work towards creating a NAMI On Campus club at their school.”

Nationally, people are becoming more knowledgeable about mental health. In a 2019 survey by the American Psychological Association, nearly 90% of adults agreed that having a mental health issue was nothing to be ashamed of, and 86% said they believed that people with mental disorders could get better.

Support for this report was provided by Lumina Foundation.

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