"In high school I, and other people I knew, struggled with anxiety and depression. It’s not like you start feeling better when you get to college. The struggles are still there."
The demands of college can often feel overwhelming, which is why Bridgewater State University has supports in place to help students manage such issues as stress, depression and anxiety.
These services, offered through the BSU Wellness Center, are free and confidential and have already benefitted many.
“I really enjoyed using the counseling services at BSU,” one student said. “My counselor was amazing…she helped me work through a lot of issues.”
Another student said that participating in therapy at BSU improved their outlook: “Ever since coming to see my counselor, my life has changed for the better. She understands how I’m feeling and is always helpful, no matter the situation. I can’t thank her enough for how much she has helped me to become the person I want to be.”
Some students may think the struggles they faced in high school will disappear upon getting to college. That’s not always the case, said Abby Smargon, ’21, who earned her degree in social work.
“In high school I, and other people I knew, struggled with anxiety and depression,” she said. “It’s not like you start feeling better when you get to college. The struggles are still there.”
As an undergraduate, Smargon developed a research project, Mental Health in College Students: Disclosure & Seeking Support, to examine some of the difficulties students face and how it impacts their academic performance. Of the BSU students surveyed, she found that those struggling with mental health issues do reach out and receive help.
“Bridgewater does a really good job making sure our voices are heard,” Smargon said.
It’s important that all students seeking help are aware of the supports offered at BSU. Whether it be dealing with feelings of loneliness, sadness and homesickness, concerns about relationships, coping with anxiety and depression, problems with sleeping and eating, or making tough decisions, the Wellness Center’s dedicated staff is available for guidance.
Togetherall is an online peer-to-peer mental health community that protects anonymity and is available 24/7. Through the service, students can interact with a safe and supportive online community. Resources include interactive message boards, self-assessment questionnaires, a private journal and goal-setting tools. A variety of self-help courses are also offered.
If a student makes it known that he or she is in crisis, Togetherall will contact BSU.
“Wall guides” are in place to monitor the site around-the-clock. Bullying is not allowed and those who fail to treat others with respect are removed.
Welltrack is another free online service BSU offers. Students can download the app to assess their mental well-being and gain access to resources tailored specifically to meet their needs. Like Togetherall, it is secure and anonymous.
Students can learn more about the Wellness Center and its services here.
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