This past week, I saw a news story about a freshman at Penn State University who, on the first day of classes, climbed a tall construction crane and fell to his death. It was ruled a suicide.
No one may ever know why this bright and likeable young man chose to end his life. These types of stories are all too common on today’s college campuses. The difficult part about detecting depression and other psychological issues among college students is exacerbated by the students’ separation from their families’ most times sensitive and overseeing eyes.
Young people, especially sensitive teens, can be affected by any number of negative stimuli in college. Perhaps two of the main agents of depressive effects might be alcohol and drugs. The issue of college drinking is in the forefront of today’s collegiate headlines. Drugs, while not as high profile as alcohol, can be easily obtained on campus. The recent legalization of marijuana in some states has certainly increased its use by college students.
So, what should a college student do if s/he finds him/herself experiencing the effects of anything from a chronic case of “the blues” all the way to full-blown depression? The answer to this is something that every collegian and his/her parents should know. That answer is college counseling services, which are there for the express purpose of preventing tragedies like the one mentioned above.
Almost all colleges have counseling services that are available to all students and covered in the price of tuition and fees. Students should take advantage of this opportunity even if they are not
feeling as if they are experiencing mental health problems. Counseling services often offer helpful advising for students who are concerned about substance abuse (current or potential), eating disorders, or adjustment to college academic or social life. Plus, there are often support groups for many other types of issues, such as sexual abuse, bereavement, and LGBT concerns.
What do college counseling services offer? Let’s take a look at some sample programs. More »