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About Seeking Help
Mental illnesses are medical conditions that disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others, and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.
Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion, or income. Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character, or poor upbringing.
Prejudice erodes confidence that mental disorders are real, treatable health conditions. But mental illnesses are treatable and most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan.
Most college students have access to a campus counseling center where they can talk to a mental health professional at no cost. After an initial series of visits, the counseling center may refer a student to a mental health provider in the community for ongoing care.
If a campus does not have a counseling center or a student is more comfortable seeking help off campus, there are some key questions you should ask when contacting mental health professionals or their offices:
- Do they accept your health insurance?
- If not, do they have a sliding-scale fee for students?
- Do they have experience helping people with similar problems?
Remember, if you (or someone you know) are in severe emotional distress or showing any warning signs of suicide, get help immediately by contacting a mental healh professional, calling 9-1-1 or a campus emergency number, or calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.
Helping Our Student Veterans Succeed
The Jed Foundation, with the Bob Woodruff Foundation, is offering a FREE Continuing Education online program to raise awareness and provide guidance on how to better integrate student veterans into college campus life.