By: Fatima Magana '22
ALLIANCE- College can be a stressful transition for many students at all levels. Though experiencing mental and emotional illnesses like anxiety or depression is normal. You will never have to solve all your problems alone. At Mount Union, you will have the support and resources you need to lead a healthy lifestyle.
In an article from the University of Michigan, Justin Heinze, Associate Professor of Health Behavior explained that students from over 100 college campuses in the United States reported suffering from anxiety or depression in the last academic year.
University of Mount Union student, Rae Carruthers ’24 (she/they) and alumnus Isaiah Edwards ’23 (he/him) discuss their journey in college while dealing with their mental health, and techniques they implement to maintain a healthy mental well-being.
Carruthers, junior triple major, were encouraged to care for their mental health early in college. They struggled with mental health in middle and high school, though, they did not ask for help sooner because they did not feel comfortable speaking about their situation.
“Dr. Maira Liliestedt, professor of music, spoke about one’s emotional health by carrying out a lesson on a composer who struggled with mental health,” said Carruthers. “Discussing and learning about this topic helped me talk about my problems.”
Carruthers began attending counseling services on campus their freshmen year along with practicing breathing exercises, journaling, and practicing her poetry. They also enjoy taking walks outside and caring for their cardiovascular health.
“I would encourage those suffering from a mental health illness to ask for help because we don’t realize the amount of support and resources that we are surrounded with,” stated Carruthers.
Edwards led an on-campus organization, Mental Wealth Champs, during his time at Mount Union that helped students suffering from a mental illness build a safe space to discuss their feelings and emotions.
Edwards is grateful for the counseling services at Mount Union and served as a confidant for students going through a similar situation after speaking up about his mental health with a friend.
“Mental Wealth Champs welcomes everyone, although it is mainly for student-athletes suffering from anxiety and high levels of stress,” said Edwards. “We present topics related to mental health and offer strategies for students to implement in their daily life.”
Edwards began attending therapy sessions, journaling, became closer with his faith which allowed him to utilize prayer as a coping mechanism. Edwards began his healing process thanks to his resident assistant, Asante, who helped him after he suffered a mental breakdown.
“I want to be a counselor or an advisor for students especially for student athletes,” Edwards said. “My experience with mental health, as well as being an athlete, will help me give the same support to kids that I received while I was at Mount.”
Taking care of our mental health is as important as caring for our physical health. Therefore, learning to notice the signs of poor mental health is crucial to treat them and live a happy plentiful life.
Carruthers and Edwards add that they also meditate and listen to music as coping mechanisms for a healthy emotional well-being.
As Mental Health Awareness Month culminated, we want students and other members of the campus community to know that they have a safe space at Mount Union where they can receive the help they need through our counseling services.
To schedule an appointment call Mount Union Counseling Services at (330) 823-2886 or email firstname.lastname@example.org