Hello from the Counseling Center! We are an enthusiastic and diverse group of counselors, social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists dedicated to enhancing mental health among students at NC State.
In this series of articles, we’ll share some of our observations. The college years are a time of growth, change and increasing autonomy for most students and families. A Students must now structure their own time, maybe for the first time ever. They will also encounter new, complex and sometimes distressing situations, and will sort out how to respond. These might come in the form of academic demands, relationships, social situations or internal conflict or distress. These issues might affect a student directly, or it might be your friend, classmate or suitemate who is struggling. Issues at home – financial and parental illnesses are common experiences of college students. The good news is this: NC State has a broad range of resources to support students!
The Counseling Center is available for consultation around common difficulties and challenges facing college students, and we’ll be exploring them with you in the next few months through this column. Here are a few issues we will cover – and we welcome other requests and suggestions:
- Helping students find campus resources to help in difficult moments
- Self-care in the face of stressful academic and interpersonal demands
- Managing situations involving alcohol or other substances (including prescription medications)
- Dealing with a friend, suitemate or classmate who is struggling with mental health issues
- Resolving anxiety, depression and other psychological difficulties
Discuss concerns like anxiety, depression, self-image, troubling thoughts or feelings and suicide with your student in a supportive and matter-of-fact manner (as if you might be talking about the importance of good nutrition, for example). Encourage your student to talk with his and her friends. We know that students speak to friends and parents long before they speak with professionals. You are in a unique position to help change the culture so that everyone can find the help they need.