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Last updateSun, 18 Nov 2018 12pm

Editorial

Mental Health at Monmouth

default article imageEvery student can understand the feelings of overwhelming pressure and responsibility in their daily lives. Whether it be from friends, family, an employer, or school, there are many forces that threaten the state of our mental health. However, some people are already predisposed to anxieties, depressed feelings and intrusive thoughts that make life more difficult to manage.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 41.6 percent of college students cited anxiety as one of the top presenting concerns among college students. While trying to balance the many stressors in life, students may suffer from anxiety as well as co-occurring disorders, such as depression. 

One Editor said, “I have many people in my life who have struggled with mental health, including myself. I experienced bad depression for about half of high school, and I currently struggle with anxiety.” 

Though not everyone experiences mental health issues themselves, it is important to recognize other people’s experiences and support them. One Editor said, “I was not aware that my friend was depressed until they reached out to me. They were one of the happiest persons I knew, so I was surprised to hear that they were dealing with depression.” 

Oftentimes, it is difficult to discuss issues of mental health due to the cultural stigma that exists around these concerns. “I think it is changing for the worse,” one Editor noted. “[those with mental illness] are challenged with stereotypes and prejudice that result from misconceptions about mental illness.” 

However, with new research emerging and celebrities publicizing their struggles, it may indicate that the cultural attitude is becoming more positive. One Editor recognizes this shift, “A lot of famous athletes and celebrities have come forth with their own struggles so that has made it a bit more ‘acceptable’ nowadays.”

With this, nuances in experience with mental health can be acknowledged, especially in terms of gender. One Editor said, “Society is starting to kind of swing in a way where men are encouraged to speak up about mental health issues that they are going through instead of being strong and silent.”

As people have unique experiences with common symptoms, coping styles may vary. Some may feel comfortable engaging in mindful exercises, while others may seek out counseling services. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, there are a multitude of resources to quell their effects. 

One Editor mentioned that people they knew utilize creative talents to channel their pain into something positive. “Friends I’ve known have turned to reading, writing, [and] various forms of creative expression,” the Editor stated. “These outlets give the person who suffers a healthy outlet to channel their emotions.”

Another Editor echoed this idea, saying that they “draw in a sketchbook as a release of [their] energy and allow [their] creativity to flow feelings out.” 

Along with confiding in the people around you, it can also be a valid option to seek counseling services. The University has Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS), which provide great resources for students that are having difficulty coping with mental health issues on their own. 

“Some people may not feel comfortable opening up to family or friends at first, which makes these services so valuable,” one Editor stated. “Once they get it off their chest, they might feel comfortable discussing it around the people they care about.” 

In order to change the conversation about mental health, it is important to encourage those that are struggling and let them know that it is okay to be living with their condition. With open-mindedness and understanding, we can make the world an easier place to live in for those that face these challenges every day. 

We at The Outlook encourage anyone suffering from mental health issues to seek help in any way that they can, whether through talking to loved ones or going to CPS counselors on campus. “There is a sense of embarrassment for those who suffer with any mental illness,” one Editor noted. “We have to remind people this: it’s okay not to be okay.”

Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu