Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act and helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others and make choices. Everyone's mental health falls somewhere on a continuum ranging from good to poor. Your mental wellness can shift throughout your life.
Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health!
Mental Health at UC
- 29.3% of UC students felt so depressed it was difficult to function
- 83.5% of UC students felt extremely overwhelmed
- 48.7% of UC students felt overwhelming anxiety
- 4.9% of UC students reported intentionally cutting, burning, bruising or intentionally injuring themselves
- 4.9% of UC students seriously considered suicide
What influences mental health?
Any situation can effect someone's mental health. A death in the family, taking challenging classes, fighting with friends or family or running low on money may cause someone to have poor mental health.
Raising your GPA, a visit from family, a new relationship or an exciting new class can improve someone's mental health.
UC students reported these being traumatic or difficult to handle
- Academics - 52.6%
- Career-Related Issues - 27.7%
- Intimate Relationships - 33.5%
- Finances - 32.8%
If you're feeling stress from any of these sources, you are not alone!
- Coping methods are ways people learn how to best deal with stressful, upsetting or saddening situations. These methods are usually learned at a young age and develop and change throughout a person's life.
- Some examples of healthy coping methods include exercising, meditation, listening to music and talking with a friend.
- Some examples of not-so-healthy coping methods include drinking, over sleeping or avoiding and denying problems.
- A support system is the people or activities you have in place that can help you when you may be struggling with poor mental health. This could be your family, your sports team, your student organization, or your group of friends.
- Genetics can greatly influence a person's mental health. Many mental Illnesses are caused by a genetic predisposition to the disease.
What are mental illnesses?
Mental illnesses are medical conditions that disrupt a person's thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Mental illnesses are diseases just like heart disease or other medical conditions.
Mental illnesses are very common: approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experiences mental illness in a given year.
Types of Mental Health Conditions
Signs and Symptoms of Possible Mental Illnesses
- Excessive worrying or fear
- Feeling excessively sad or low
- Extreme mood changes
- Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
- Avoiding friends and social activities
- Difficulties understanding or relating to other people
- Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and having low energy
- Changes in eating habits, such as increased hunger or lack of appetite
- Abuse of substances like alcohol or dugs
Don't be afraid to reach out if you or someone you know needs help.
- Drugs and alcohol are sometimes used to help cope with mental health concerns such as depression or anxiety. However, alcohol and many other popular drugs are depressants which can worsen your mental state.
- Signs and symptoms of a drug or alcohol problem:
- Repeated inability to meet obligations
- Repeated dangerous behaviors
- Repeated legal problems
- Repeated interpersonal problems
- Inability to not use drugs or alcohol
Substance Abuse in College
Often on college campuses, drinking and experimenting with drugs is seen as normal which can make it hard to tell if you or a friend have a serious problem. Some questions to help determine if drug or alcohol use could be a bigger problem are:
- Have you ever missed a class, not finished homework or received a lower grade because of your alcohol or drug use?
- Has your health or body suffered from your alcohol or drug use such as blacking out, long hangovers or injuring yourself while intoxicated?
- Have you ever become violent or gotten into physical or verbal fights as a result of your drug or alcohol use?
- Have you ever lost control or felt that you could not control your alcohol or drug use?
- Have any of your friends expressed concern or worry about your alcohol or drug use?
If you think you might use alcohol or other drugs in unhealthy ways, call Counseling & Psychological Services 24-hour line at 513-556-0648.
Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among adolescents and the 2nd among college students.
- 20%-50% of people who die by suicide have attempted it in the past
Suicide warning signs:
- Someone threatening to hurt or kill themselves
- Someone looking for ways to kill themselves
- Someone talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide
- Rage, anger, seeking revenge
- Acting reckless or engaging in risky activity
- Feeling trapped
- Increased drug/alcohol use
- Withdrawing from friends/family
- Anxiety, agitation, inability to sleep
- Dramatic changes in mood
- Giving away belongings
- Making a plan
- Indication of not being able to identify a reason for living or seeing a purpose in life. Examples of such statements are "I wish it were all over", "I don't want to wake up anymore", etc.
What to do if you think someone is suicidal:
- Seek professional help
- Directly ask if they are thinking about suicide or killing themselves
- Be non-judgmental and non-confrontational
- Take it seriously
- Be willing to listen
- If they are actively trying, do not leave them alone, remove means of killing themselves from the vicinity and take them to the ER
- Follow up- talk to your friend after the fact to make sure they are taking their medication, seeing a therapist and to ask if there is anything more you can do
For more information on how to help a friend, visit this resource.