Opinion: Do not face depression alone

Illustration by Charity Wang / Clarion

Every day we are constantly exposed to stress. But what happens if every day manages to consume us?

A rising issue for us college students is a debilitating state of mental health caused by stress, anxiety and depression.

The increased risk of substance abuse and suicide are some of the most serious complications resulting from mental health issues.

Suicide was found to be most common cause of death for people between ages 18 and 24, according to a study found in the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health.

Depression and anxiety can affect  how stressful a situation actually is, how people work, and how people see themselves.

It’s not healthy to suppress and hide mental health issues. However, reaching out for help is often difficult.

Being faced with skepticism and receiving the “you’ll get over it” response may lead someone with mental issues to think that they are alone in their plight.

Some people dismiss the existence of mental health issues and believe them to be simply “mindsets,” or as something that can be changed on a whim.

Mental health may not be a comfortable topic to address, but ignorance makes it even harder for those who suffer from these issues to reach out to loved ones and close confidants.

Only 25 percent of adults with mental health symptoms believe that people are caring and sympathetic to persons with mental illness, according to 2007 survey conducted by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

Sept. 10 was World Suicide Prevention Day.

On Sept. 12, Citrus College hosted the Mental Health Fair in the Campus Center Mall.

Information on the importance of mental health was provided for all students.

For those that need help, the campus also has services providing counseling.

These services are made possible by the Health Services fee that all students pay before the start of the semester.

When seeking mental health services, a student can go to the Health Center in the Student Services building, SS 147.

Services such as crisis intervention and short-term mental health services are offered. The Health Center can also help refer students to other helpful sources, if needed.

A student is allowed up to five visits per semester. There is no charge for counseling, and always kept in confidentiality.

There are also outside sources such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the 211 Directory.

If you don’t know where to start, the organization Mental Health First Aid has started a campaign called “Be the Difference.” This organization helps educate people on mental health.

For those who want to help, become educated in the importance of mental health. Get involved in events and reach out to those that need help. Show those who are suffering that they aren’t alone.

Be the shoulder of support for someone and remember there is no shame in asking for help.

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