Mental Health U

Get to know your campus mental health resources

Andrew Tomten

Andrew Tomten

Student loans, midterms, falling behind in class, and trying to keep a crazy college schedule in order can be a challenge. But sometimes these everyday issues, or other extenuating circumstances, can become overwhelming and lead to something more serious, like depression or severe anxiety. In recent weeks, and with Mental Health Month coming in May, the University of Minnesota community has taken a renewed focus on mental health, ensuring all students are aware of their options when it comes to managing their mental health.

According to the most recent Boynton Health survey, which had over 13,000 responses, 19 percent of students have been diagnosed with depression in their lifetimes, and 18 percent have been diagnosed with an anxiety issue. Boynton psychotherapist Meg Benefield said that more students have been coming in to get help in recent years.

“I think there is an increased pressure to do well in college, and I think more students are really overloaded with competing demands,” she said.

Fortunately, there are plenty of resources for students experiencing mental health problems at the University. Appleby Hall’s University Counseling and Consulting Services offers both individual and group counseling, covering career issues, general stress, depression, and anxiety. Students can stop in at 340 Appleby to set up an appointment from the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

Warning signs for a mental condition might not be immediately obvious.

Boynton offers similar counseling to Appleby, but is more specialized. They can also offer services for students who want to take more serious action, such as starting medication. Whereas Appleby counseling is unlimited for students, Boynton allows 11 appointments per 12 month period. Staff at Boynton and University Counseling and Consulting Services can also help students get referrals to other community resources.

19 percent of students have been diagnosed with depression in their lifetimes.

While warning signs for a mental condition might not be immediately obvious, Benefield said that students struggling with depression might start to miss class and have an overall decrease in their quality of work. Social changes might occur as well.

“Oftentimes, people will socially withdraw, so they might not be engaging even with their friends,” she said.

If someone you know shows signs of depression, like abnormal or uncharacteristic behavior, an overall lack of motivation, or generally just seems off, talk to them about it. If you feel as though this is a serious problem, let them know about the University’s resources, and listen to what they have to say.

If you or someone you know is in a crisis situation, considering suicide or self-harm, call the Crisis Connection at 612-301-4673, or call 911.