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Mental health conditions affect individuals from all different backgrounds and in a variety of ways. Some things may be so subtle that the individual doesn’t even recognize them as a problem, whereas other things may be very noticeable to others. Someone experiencing mental health difficulties may demonstrate dramatic shifts in their moods, changes in eating and/or sleeping habits, trouble relating to others, psychotic symptoms (e.g., hearing/responding to internal voices), substance abuse, and/or physical symptoms (e.g., headaches, gastrointestinal problems). There are numerous diagnosable mental health conditions to which these may be attributed.
Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety:
Some people are able to manage things on their own, while most will need support at least at some point in their lives. See the sections below on helping others and yourself when struggling to cope with mental health conditions.
The above is not an exhaustive list of mental health-related symptoms. If you would like further information on mental illness, what it might look like, and what you may be able to do to help, please visit The JED Foundation.
Seeing a friend suffer can be extremely difficult. They may exhibit any number of mental health warning signs (see above for more information). The best way to help is to talk to them about your concern and let them know you are there to support them. Here are a few tips on how to have a healthy and productive conversation with your friend about their mental health:
If your friend is actively suicidal or is seriously threatening someone else, PLEASE do not try to deal with it on your own. If you are on campus and afraid for your friend’s safety or the safety of others, please call SJC Public Safety at 443-336-2348 or ext. 2000. If it is a life-threatening emergency, you can also call 911 from anywhere. Do not hesitate to save someone’s life! For more information on what you may be able to do to help someone struggling with their mental health, please visit The JED Foundation.
Here at St. John’s, our faculty and staff are extremely caring and supportive. If you are concerned about a student, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Counseling Center for consultation and how you may be able to help that student. Feel free to email Dr. Lopez, senior staff clinician and the administrative lead of the Counseling Center, directly at heather.lopez(at)sjc.edu.
Some things to look out for, particularly if what you’re seeing is different from how the student typically presents, include:
If you notice any of these symptoms (or other concerning presentations), some things you can do to support the student are:
If you feel the student is in crisis, encourage them to utilize the Counseling Center’s crisis walk-in hours, which are every weekday the school is in session from 12–1 p.m. If the student seems hesitant to seek help from the Counseling Center, walking with them to the Counseling Center may relieve some of their resistance.
If you feel the student is a danger to themselves or others, please try to keep the student within eyesight and call Public Safety at 443-336-2348 or ext. 2000.
For more information on what you may be able to do to help someone struggling with their mental health, please visit The JED Foundation.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of being in the moment. As humans, we tend to worry about the future and think a lot about the mistakes we have made in the past; however, we rarely find ourselves enjoying the present moment.
Now that you know what mindfulness is, you’re probably wondering how to make it happen. There are ways that you may have heard of (e.g., meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and the like). While these are indispensable tools, there are also other simple, everyday things that you can do to stay mindful, such as:
Of course, there are many apps for mindfulness as well, including:
For more apps that may be beneficial, we recommend reading “15 Best Meditation and Mindfulness Apps.”
For additional resources on mindfulness, please see our Online Resources list below.
If you are interested in seeking therapy and/or psychiatric services outside of the Counseling Center, there are multiple options available. What is listed below represents just some of the options. If, after reviewing the information below, you need assistance, feel free to contact Dr. Lopez, senior staff clinician and the administrative lead of the Counseling Center, directly at heather.lopez(at)sjc.edu.
Please note that some providers may not be taking new clients when you call; they may put you on a waiting list or refer you to another provider.
If you require support outside of your regular counseling or psychiatric appointments, you may also call CareConnect at 888-857-5462 to speak immediately to a non-St. John’s College, licensed behavioral health clinician 24/7/365.
Staying informed about mental health is an important part of coping with mental illness.
Here are some online resources and information that can help you learn new coping skills, practice previously learned skills, or find additional help:
St. John’s College IS NOT responsible for the content of the listed sites/outside contacts.