Tibbs: Support for mental health

Columnist Ashley Tibbs advocates for mental health care throughout the school year. 

Ashley Tibbs

Freshman year can be one of the most difficult times of a college student’s life. Homesickness can be particularly challenging and many students struggle with sleep deprivation and anxiety (not that this ends with freshman year, of course). College is one of the biggest times of adjustment for most freshmen. The good news is nearly everyone struggles, at least a little, during their first year. The bad news is this upcoming school year is unlike any other.  

In addition to the normal things students have to adjust to, we are in the midst of a global pandemic that has impacted everyone’s life. Life on campus will look different for everyone this year and we’re all going to have to make adjustments.

One of the most important things students need to do during college is take care of their mental and physical health. Unfortunately, many college students struggle with different mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression. With everything else that has happened recently, it’s more important than ever to prioritize mental health, both now and when students come back to campus. 

Iowa State has a variety of resources to address the health of its students, including different types of counseling services, most of which are offered at no cost to the student through Student Counseling Services (SCS).

I highly recommend taking advantage of the resources available to you if you need them. 

SCS offers individual counseling on what is usually a short-term basis, with around four to eight sessions every other week. SCS will also provide assistance in finding a community provider for students who need extended services beyond what SCS offers.

They also provide group counseling, couple counseling and career counseling. Whatever you may be looking for, SCS can help you achieve your goals or they can help you find someone in the community to help you.  

Taking care of your mental health should be a priority in college. Don’t wait until you feel overwhelmed to reach out for help. If you want any other online resources, you can check out the Student Wellness website for information about a variety of wellness topics, such as sleep and mental health information. 

You don’t need to wait until you get onto campus to take advantage of ISU’s counseling services. Right now, they are offering video-based services for ISU students living in Iowa and phone-based services for all other students. You can call 515-294-5056 or go to their website to learn more about what they’re currently offering students.