Starting college is an exciting journey, but it can also be overwhelming, especially if you're dealing with a mental health disorder. The good news is, you're not alone, and there's a world of support and resources waiting for you. In this guide, we'll walk you through the essentials of college life with mental health in mind. Plus, we'll introduce you to Authentically You Counseling, a dedicated team ready to assist you in Concord, New Hampshire, or virtually throughout the state.
Understanding the Landscape
The State of Mental Health on College Campuses
Before diving into the guide, it's crucial to recognize the landscape of mental health on college campuses. In recent years, college students have reported increasing rates of depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated these issues, making it more important than ever to seek support and assistance when needed.
A 2020 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that young adults between 18 and 24 years old have experienced mental health issues at a higher rate than older adults. This has put significant pressure on colleges to meet the growing demand for mental health services.
Common Mental Health Disorders
What You Should Know
Mental health disorders vary widely, and it's essential to recognize the most common ones among college students:
Anxiety: Affecting nearly 29% of students.
Depression: Reported by around 23.4%.
Eating Disorders: Affecting 5%.
Bipolar Disorder: Experienced by about 2.2%.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Affects approximately 1.4%.
Substance Abuse: Close to 40%.
Schizophrenia: Affects 0.3%.
It's important to remember that many students experience overlapping disorders. For example, someone might suffer from anxiety, depression, and substance abuse simultaneously.
Navigating College with Mental Health
How Colleges Support Students
Colleges are committed to assisting students with mental health disorders. Here's how they can help:
Health and Wellness Centers: Most colleges have on-campus health and wellness centers offering various services, including therapy, counseling, support groups, disability advocacy, and mental health education.
Academic Accommodations: If you require academic accommodations, colleges can provide them. It's your responsibility to inform the college of your disability, and they are obligated to work with you.
On-Campus Counseling: Many colleges offer free counseling services for enrolled students.
Knowing Your Rights
Understanding Your Legal Rights
It's vital to be informed about your rights when dealing with mental health disorders in college. You have legal protections:
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973: These laws prohibit discrimination based on disability. Colleges cannot prevent or limit your access to class due to a psychiatric disorder.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA): FERPA safeguards your educational records, including your disability status and accommodation requests.
Authentically You Counseling: Your Support System
Finding Help in Concord, New Hampshire
Authentically You Counseling is your dedicated support system, ready to assist you in Concord, New Hampshire, and virtually across the state. Here's how to reach them:
Location: 112 Pleasant Street, Suite 5, Concord, NH, 03301.
Authentically You Counseling is committed to helping you on your journey to a more authentic and fulfilling life. Their professional team is here to provide the guidance and support you need to thrive in college and beyond.
Seeking Further Assistance
Apart from college resources, several organizations can provide further assistance:
The Jed Foundation: A non-profit organization focused on protecting emotional health and preventing suicides among teens and young adults. Check their online resource center for valuable tips and support.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): A leader in mental disorder research. Visit their website for comprehensive information on various mental illnesses and treatments.
MentalHealth.gov: Run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this website offers toll-free hotlines and services related to mental health. Find it here.
National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR): Led by mental health consumers and survivors, NCMHR is dedicated to self-directed recovery. Visit their website for community support and healthcare improvement.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Find treatment in your area and access educational materials related to substance abuse and mental health on their website.
Starting college with a mental health disorder is challenging but entirely manageable with the right support. By understanding your rights, utilizing college resources, and seeking assistance from organizations like Authentically You Counseling, you can embark on your college journey with confidence and resilience.
Remember, you're not alone on this path, and there are numerous resources available to help you succeed in college and beyond.