American River College does not provide enough services to help students manage mental health problems and the campus lacks a solid foundation for those who are diagnosed with mental illnesses and need professional help.
There will forever be biases for everything. They exist because people are either ignorant, usually through no fault of their own, or because they haven’t been exposed to certain environments or circumstances.
The lack thereof creates other existing issues such as students minimizing their own problems because they don’t have a mental illness. The truth is there needs to be equally as much validation for diagnosed persons and everyday students dealing with stressors.
Life Is Worth The Walk (LWW) is a club on campus dedicated to raising this type of awareness but one club can’t provide everything students and faculty should know about these issues.
Without some cathartic outlet many more problems arise for college students.
It appears that it is permitted to be overwhelmed with school but the biases still remain.
Mental health/illnesses are still heavily laced with words such as ‘crazy’, ‘insane’ and ‘unstable’.
It can be argued that every college student understands the stressors that come with going to school. There is the mutual understanding of heavy class loads, working to support themselves or even sometimes an entire family.
College students can find comfort in relating about the stress that comes with midterms and finals week. There is a certain level of appreciation we find in the company of an entire community that can, for the most part, relate in some way or another.
Yet even with this talk of comfort and relatability there still exists the taboo of mental health. It is okay to complain about being stressed out. It’s a catch all phrase that doesn’t imply there is anything severely wrong.
This taboo is something that would be an issue, when and if more resources were provided, for mental health and self care, but the benefits would outweigh the costs.
Right now it is vital to understand how everyone can relate, on some level, with their fellow classmates. So first and foremost the stigma that would revolve around getting these resources needs to be destigmatized.
With just a little bit of time and dedication to demystifying the stereotypes and negative outlooks, students can begin to unveil the truth and importance behind having mental health resources on campus.
It doesn’t take long to notice how mental health and mental illness overlap because after all self care includes taking care of mental health.
While illnesses are more specific and individualized that does not separate any group or subgroup from using the same resources for support and help.
In essence the entire process of going to school, could arguably be one of the most high-stress periods in one’s life.
It would not only be beneficial to focus on ways to alleviate stress and anxiety but to realize how we all have different issues to work on and deal with.