There is a villain on the loose among college students today; one we all know too well. Although it’s a stranger to no one, it’s a topic rarely broached in the serious tone it deserves. This villain is depression, and it claims the life of a person every minute.
Depression is a topic that students need to feel more confident to discuss. According to the American College Health Association, one person commits suicide every minute, making suicide the second most common cause of death among college-aged students.In a survey conducted with 20 students at the Oviedo campus of Seminole State, 80 percent of them answered that they were not surprised about the suicide statistic. A common reason students said was that the stress of passing their classes has an emotional toll on them and the people they know.
“Everyone’s got a story that affected their family or them personally,” said Lashauna Hinton, a career advisor at the Oviedo campus. “There’s a stigma, but if we are proactive with our assistance, and more verbal about things we have gone through personally, it can help someone to open up about their situation, and in turn prevent them from doing the unthinkable.”
Hinton also offered some alternatives that might help. She said online counseling is available and websites such as 7cups.com give a safe place for people to come and talk about depression for free. However, you can also talk to trained psychologists. Some nonprofit local organization offer free therapists that will come to your house and talk.
Other alternatives include the app from Calm.com which is recommended by psychologists for people who need a way to destress.
Some of the features include sleep therapy, mediation, yoga, calming music, and daily breathing exercises.
A club called Better: For Mental Health Awareness and Support offers a safe place for students to de-stress from school and talk about things that are going on at home every Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. in L-213 on the Sanford/Lake Mary campus. Relaxing music is played, coloring pages are offered and educational PowerPoints that teach people about mental illness are presented.
Taylor Moore, president of the club, implores people to seek professional help, and if you can’t, seek a support system. She said she understands that not everyone has a support system at home, so that’s why the club exists. She suggests people with depression to get out of the house, call a friend and ask to hang out somewhere safe.
“Sometimes when you are depressed you find it hard to do things,” Moore said. “Sometimes the things I want to do the least, are the things best to do.”
If you are in immediate crisis and need to talk to someone, the National Suicide Hotline is 1-800-273-8255.