Through our work at Active Minds, we encourage everyone to make a difference in the lives of people they interact with. One way to make a difference is to become a resource to people around you. Letting people know that it is okay for them to come to you if they need to can be extremely helpful. Another way to be a resource is by talking about mental health issues and starting conversations about the importance of taking care of your mental health.
We asked students interacting with the display “who has helped you through a difficult time in your life?” There were an overwhelming number of students that responded with: “My friends and family,” which shows that friends and family members can be a huge support system. There were also students that said therapy and the counseling center has helped them tremendously when they felt that they were struggling with a mental health issue.
Students often mentioned their mom or dad being a great source of comfort to them through a tough time. That relationship can grow stronger when parent and child know that they have each other to reach out to. Talk to your parents openly about creating a support system when there are times that you feel like you are struggling. Another huge support mention was siblings. Brothers and sisters, whether older or older, can be a huge reminder of your importance. Siblings can remind you of reasons why your family needs you.
Friends are a great support while living on campus. Many students are away from family for the first time, so making lasting relationship with other students can be very important. Knowing that you have someone that you can turn to that may be dealing with similar things is a comfort that students can take advantage of. Whether you are feeling depressed, anxious, or having any other mental health issues having a friend can make all the difference.
Students can take advantage of the counseling center and various student-run organizations on their campus. Many campuses offer free or low-cost counseling services to students throughout the year. The University of Connecticut’s Active Minds chapter and many other mental health and suicide prevention organizations work hard to make sure that students have all the resources they need on campus. Sometimes it helps to know that someone that doesn’t know you cares enough to help you through a tough time. There are always resources when you are in need, so never give up searching for the right fit for you.
The National Suicide Lifeline is open at all times to anyone in the United States. Please call 1-800-273-TALK if you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide.