Navigating a Universal Mental Health Crisis: Student Resources
Over the past two years, our world has experienced loss, grief, trauma and limited resources to a degree not experienced in most students’ lifetimes. As such, NC State is seeing an increase in the intensity and complexity of concerns coming through Counseling and Prevention Services.
Prevention Services has seen a 76% increase in student referrals over the past year. While we continue to see the common concerns of anxiety, depression, etc., we also see increases in feelings of isolation and grief. The campus Counseling Center continues to offer services in a hybrid format, including individual and group counseling, with many additional resources available online.
As our students navigate these challenges, our community must recognize that mental health is more than just needing formal counseling. In our recent suicide prevention campaign, we also focused on the importance of never missing a meal, knowing where your next paycheck is coming from, knowing where you will live, having access to affordable healthcare, being heard, and feeling like you belong. Our campus and local community have various resources available to meet the needs of all aspects of mental health and wellbeing.
In Prevention Services, our services are focused on support, belonging and social wellness, outreach, and peer-led initiatives. Our CARES team members provide one-on-one support, connecting with students to promote resilience and self-advocacy. CARES focuses on connecting students to the resources that they need, both on and off-campus. CARES referrals can be made on our website. Our Alcohol and Other Drug team members provide education and consultations surrounding substance use through a harm-reduction lens. In regards to outreach, we provide presentations and programming, often collaborating with our campus partners to focus on wellness from a broader lens. We offer a variety of drop-in spaces focused on various areas of interest and identities to help students make connections with peers. This includes spaces led by our Mental Health Ambassadors. We frequently highlight current resource needs on our website under time and change.
Other campus partners and programs that we frequently refer to include Wellness and Recreation’s Wellness Coaching for concerns such as time management, Pack Essentials for basic needs support, and the OIED Community Centers to enhance belonging and connect with identity-specific resources. We also encourage our campus community to reach out to the Student Ombuds and Faculty & Staff Ombuds to discuss concerns impacting your ability to thrive at NC State.
This post was written by Emily Anderson, outreach and resilience coordinator for prevention services for NC State’s Academic And Student Affairs.