Reach out for help during final exams

Photo courtesy of Jacob Liwanag

By Jacob Liwanag | Guest Contributor

Have you ever felt alone? In the chaos of exams, extracurriculars and our personal problems, Baylor students need to have someone to talk to during this stressful period of life, whether that’s a friend or a professional.

College is supposed to be one of the brightest times in our lives. We are expected to work as hard as we can to secure a successful future but also to enjoy our youth. Although this phase of our life will hold some of our fondest memories, it can also be mentally draining as we plan out our future and handle new responsibilities.

The overwhelming number of daily tasks and responsibilities that college students worry about can be detrimental to their wellbeing. According to BetterYou, about eight out of 10 college students report high levels of stress. Thirty percent of these students who seek mental health treatment report stress being the cause, while 60% of them also report more severe levels of anxiety. Young adults are also extremely vulnerable to falling to depression. According to What to Become, nearly 37% of U.S. college students were diagnosed with depression in fall 2019.

As finals week approaches, we need to check up on our fellow classmates and be open to having conversations about our mental health. Many of us, including myself, are guilty of keeping our anxieties bottled up until an outlet is provided to let out our emotions. When you notice that a classmate looks tired or hopeless, ask them how they are feeling and be open to listening to their worries.

The threat of depression and anxiety combined with an ongoing workload can push someone to their limit. We not only need to be open to listening to our friends when they are struggling but also need to look out for warning signs of suicide. According to the Mayo Clinic, concerning signs include mood swings, isolation, talking about suicide or feeling hopeless about a situation. When someone you know is showing signs of suicidal thoughts, ask them directly about their feelings and listen to what they have to say. After asking them, connect them to a responsible adult like a teacher or counselor.

Baylor administration recognized this problem and has provided many mental health resources. Unfortunately, many undergraduates are not aware of the resources on campus or do not feel comfortable asking for help. If any mental health condition seems to be affecting you or the people around you, seek professional help from any of the university’s resources.

Baylor offers a variety of professional resources to aid all students struggling with mental health:

The Baylor Counseling Center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every weekday. It offers an initial assessment to discuss any concerns, such as personal issues, stress, relationship issues, academic concerns or any other crisis that may occur.

The Care Management Service is also part of the Baylor Counseling Center. It provides case management appointments to learn about students’ unique situations and provide help to them so they can still manage their academics while improving their mental state.

The newly implemented Baylor telehealth system is a 24-hour mental health support line that provides students with unlimited counseling services at any moment. The line can be reached at 833-969-3998.

Many college students in the U.S. struggle with mental health. If you feel alone or overwhelmingly stressed, then it’s OK to ask for help. There are numerous resources that are always available to students. Our closest friends could be enduring a mental health crisis, but we would have no idea if we didn’t ask. It is our responsibility to check up on our friends during this stressful time of the school year. Students who are surrounded and cared for by many can still feel alone.