Nearly every college student knows someone suffering from a mental illness; unbeknownst to them, it may even be a best friend, coworker or classmate. According to the UW-La Crosse Counseling and Testing Center 2013-2014 Annual Report supplemented by Director Gretchen Reinders, the most common client reported concerns were anxiety, stress and depression.
Out of these three reported concerns: “61 percent of students experienced anxiety and stress, while 55 percent of students experienced depression and sadness.”
Unfortunately, the students who remain silent are not included on any survey data. These individuals sit next to students during class, smile and wave when people walk by and appear to be content. Yet, those same individuals experience times of decreased energy, making it difficult to focus on their studies, or have feelings of despair and exhaustion, disrupting social life.
The Annual Report also mentions that issues more “commonly reported in summer and fall include attention concerns, problems with peers and eating concerns, while in winter and spring, the most reported issue involves difficulty with sleep.”
These difficulties may be attributed to depression and anxiety that afflict students who walk by every day.
Depression, anxiety, stress and other mental illnesses can be a serious matter. People suffering from generalized anxiety may experience trouble relaxing and frequent headaches, in addition to difficulty sleeping. Symptoms of depression include feelings of helplessness, isolation and exhaustion. Depression also may lead to thoughts of suicide.
If a student is suffering, or knows someone who may be suffering, from depression, anxiety or other mental illness, they should not hesitate to reach out to a friend, RA, professor or anyone at the Counseling and Testing Center found on UW-L’s campus.
Located on the second floor of Centennial Hall, room 2106, the Counseling and Testing Center provides students with counseling of any form, and crisis intervention, all with a policy of pure confidentiality. In addition, the center also offers academic workshops to help improve study habits, better note taking and methods for test preparation. Finally, the Counseling and Testing Center offers a Relaxation Room, where students learn relaxation techniques to decrease stress levels and combat anxiety.
The Counseling and Testing Center can be reached at 608-785-8073, Monday through Friday. UW-L is not just a campus but a community, striving to support each student and overcome any obstacles together.