Week 10 Mental Health

Week 10 Mental Health

I feel that University of Michigan is providing the bare minimum of what is necessary for the prevention and treatment of mental health. There are many more resources that U of M could supply regarding mental health. In lecture, the topic of dropping out of college because of mental health reasons struck me a little. I remember Carrie indicating that because University of Michigan has a numerous amount of people that are on the waiting list, it is easy to replace someone who drops out. I felt a little uneasy about this because it seems as if the University of Michigan can be a little insensitive to those who drop out because they people waiting to replace them. At the same time, I feel that if faculty/staff, or anyone involved, knew the reasoning behind a student dropping out of U of M (mental health, addiction , etc.), then they would cater to that student’s needs in the best way they could.

In terms of prevention and treatment, C.A.P.S. is almost always encouraged to go when someone is having issues with mental health. I’m sure C.A.P.S. is a great resource, but it is not available all the time, so there should be alternatives. Placing a counselor in the residence hall could be very beneficial, and maybe even training Residential Advisor on ways to prevent or treat mental health with students. I also think having more safe spaces around campus, or in residence halls, could allow for students to feel comfortable discussing mental health. Many students feel that they are alone when struggling with mental health, and safe spaces could give students the opportunity to communicate with other students who are also dealing with mental health issues.

Mental health is a topic that needs to be discussed in high school, maybe even as early as middle school. High school can very stressful students, and learning how to manage stress and cater to one’s mental health could possibly prepare high school students managing their mental health in college. This could, perhaps, improve future college students’ mental health, and lower the dropout rate.

Outside and in college, the world is very competitive. Sometimes people find themselves competing over how stressed they are. “I am so stressed about my Chemistry exam.” Then another person comes along and says, “You don’t even know what stress is, wait until you get to Orgo.” Either way, both students are stressed. This competitive nature could damage their mental health by making it seem like their stress is nothing to take seriously because another student has “more stress.” We should definitely reduce this stigma of competing over whose stress level, or mental health, is worse, and maybe this could improve mental health among college students.

7 thoughts on “Week 10 Mental Health

  1. I also agree that U of M is doing the bare minimum when it comes to mental health care. CAPs is mainly known for their massages and sun lamps instead of actual counseling. I also feel that CAPs needs to do a better job at hiring their counselors. I went to speak with one to discuss how to help a friend struggling with a mental illness and she was not helpful at all. I think the University needs to make sure that the best people are treating its students.

    I also agree that the competitive nature about who is more stressed out is very damaging to the mental health of students. We are all struggling here, we need to support each other, not tear each other down.

  2. I agree that there are many aspects that the University could improve upon when it comes to encouraging mental health among students. I think it would be a great idea to train residential advisors in mental health issues so that they can communicate with students and make sure they are feeling comfortable and happy. Many students also feel intimidated by going to speak with a mental health professional, and so having a peer and someone they feel comfortable around having these discussions would make a tremendous difference on the community. Also, I do think the university is making improvements in advertising the events and resources available for mental health. Many students cited a lack of time as a reason for not seeking mental health treatment. Being at a competitive institution, many students feel that they must constantly fill their lives with courses and resume-building extra-curriculars. If the university spent more time to voice that it is okay to take time to yourself for your mental health, I think more students would be more optimistic about taking care of their mental health.

  3. I really like the different approach you took to looking at stress and mental health as a competition between two people to see who has more, like it is some kind of prize. I also like how you mentioned the process of introducing the topic to students when they are still in middle school or high school. I think this could give students some tools that they could learn and develop before college so they would not have to deal with the stress of moving in and feeling like they are on their own.
    I also feel like having a counselor closer to certain places on campus than just CAPS, like somewhere on the hill and north campus, would improve the rate of people seeking help. Being part of a learning community, I feel very close to my RAs and peers and feel like there are many people I could go to if I needed to talk about something. However, I don’t know if the same close community is build outside of learning communities. I think building close relationships between people living in the same hall goes along with the RA training you mentioned and might help to reduce the number of college students who are identified as having a mental illness.

  4. While I have no experience at other universities, I think that it is likely U of M is doing more than most in regards to catering to its students’ mental health needs. You are probably right in saying that the University of Michigan is not as sympathetic as possible towards its students, but I do think that it recognizes that students’ mental health is an issue and is working to fix it. I am constantly seeing fliers posted or getting emails about ways to improve my mental health, or meetings I can attend to help me if I am struggling.

    I do, however, agree with your comment about the University being insensitive towards dropouts. The University likes to portray itself as an institution that cares about its students and their success. However, I think that the apathy that is shown by the University towards dropouts is evidence of it not caring about the students unless they are contributing to the University (i.e. giving it money, making it look good). However, I have yet to come across a professor or instructor who I think would be unsympathetic if I came to them saying I have mental health issues or was planning on dropping out. Therefore, I think it is the faculty at U of M who is sympathetic to our mental health needs, not necessarily the University as an institution.

  5. The U.S. education system forces kids to be stressed more than they should. Everything revolves around getting good grades instead of actually learning something. Students become masters of memorization instead of an intellectual. From the start of high school, students are constantly reminded to work hard because “everything matters now.” They make it seem like the rest of your life is determined by a single grade. The pressure continues until you get into college. When college comes around, you have to get good grades to get into grad school. It is a never ending cycle of pressure and stress. If school was more about learning than grades, the stress levels of students would go way down.

  6. When considering psychological stress as is relates to students across the united states I was surprised to learn that 60% of people in need of mental health counseling do not seek care, but not surprised that many people’s main reason for not doing so was that they felt they could deal with problems on their own or that they didn’t have time in their schedule to address the issue. As an 18 year old I often just assume that I’m doing fine both physically and mentally; It’s true that physical problems such as cancer usually arise much later in life, but this assumption I make isn’t true for mental health issues. The belief that one should be able to deal with their own problems seems all too prevalent today, and as shown by the research at umich it often prevents people from seeking care. From my experiences this also seems to be true on a smaller scale, as I’ve had many people apologize for talking to me about their problems (and done the same when discussing my issues with them). It seems as though society expects us to always be okay, and whenever we admit that we aren’t doing our best it requires an apology to those we admit our problems to. We need to do our best as a society to realize that we all have problems and stress, and admitting them is not a bad thing. Another thing that must be realized is that just because someone’s problem seems ‘bigger’ than yours it doesn’t mean that yours is illegitimate. Relativity is not important when considering mental health issues, and this is something we all must realize to start turning around the mental health crisis found in the US today.

  7. I think that your idea of having a counselor available in residence halls is a very valuable idea. It would combat some of the reasons listed in lecture as to why students don’t get help. It would be easily accessible, which would help eliminate the excuse that students don’t have time, because they wouldn’t have to wait weeks for their appointments or walk across campus to get to them. Also, it would be more casual which could make students feel more comfortable than going to CAPS, which although it is a wonderful service, it can be intimidating. Overall, I think that would be extremely successful. However, as with may things, I don’t know if it would be very economical so it is unlikely that the University would ever implement it.

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