Mental health issues should be discussed

The Review Editorial Board

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College is a time of tremendous personal growth and change. While this can be exciting, it is also difficult to navigate this sea of internal and external changes while also keeping up with the academic rigor we are accustomed to at Linfield, finding time for friendships and relationships, appeasing watchful parents at home, and participating in the seemingly compulsory extra-curricular (resume-building) activities.

Handling all of this is a monumental task for many students but for those with mental health problems, these tasks become even more insurmountable.

Colleges and universities around the country are taking steps to make college more accessible for those with mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety.

Linfield has a few stellar counselors equipped to help students who seek their help dealing with problems in college but the main problem is still in accepting mental illness as an illness without stigmatizing or minimizing it.

This starts with the professors first, then the students.

Mental health issues should not be part of the “college experience” and if we have come to the point that it is part of the experience, professors should at least be understanding of this.

Overwhelming anxiety, depression, having a panic attack or simply needing a mental health day should be allowed and not penalized.

Even students without diagnosed mental illnesses are under such extreme stress most of the time that a day or two of levity would not be out of order. The non-stop train that is college does not allow for breaks, timeouts, or stops but it should.

Going at full speed all the time is impossible and will eventually lead to mental or physical burn out but most students maintain a full schedule and continue at break-neck speed because they are afraid that professors, or peers, will think they are inferior or not committed if they admit that they need a break.

It is this perception that needs to change.

This starts with everyone at Linfield taking mental health and the constant stress that students are under seriously.

College is a memorable time in most people’s lives but the campus culture around mental health and mental health awareness can mean the difference between remembering college as a tough but valuable learning experience or as a four year nightmare.

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