Written by Katrina Kiesow

May is the 69th anniversary of Mental Health Month, which Mental Health America started in 1949.

According to Mental Health America’s website, the non-profit organization’s goal is to inform people about the needs of those that suffer from mental illness. They aim to promote mental health wellness across America.

According to Mayoclinic.org, there are different warning signs for each mental illness. Here are five signs of depression and anxiety listed on their website:

Depression:

1. Feelings of helplessness, worthlessness, hopelessness and guilt

2. Irritability, numbness and severe loneliness

3. Loss of interest or pleasure in activities or hobbies

4. Decreased energy or motivation

5. Difficulty sleeping or over-sleeping

Anxiety:

1. Excessive worrying or tension

2. Unrealistic view of problems

3. Inability to rest or let go of worry

4. Over thinking plans and situations

5. Fatigue, trouble sleeping, nervousness, sweating and nausea

According to Pysch2Go, there are many ways to help those experiencing symptoms of mental illness. The best way to help them is by understanding what the signs of mental illness are. Listen to those who suffer with mental illness and make them feel loved.

“I don’t usually talk to people about my personal problems, but when I do talk about personal subjects, it’s nice when people honestly listen with real intent,” said Macy Bishop, a sophomore studying art. “They aren’t on their phone or trying to be my life coach. When people listen, I feel like this weight has been lifted off my chest, and it makes my day more bearable.”

Terri Fisher, a marriage and family therapist at Integrated Counseling and Wellness, advises going to your regular physician before receiving counseling and medication.

“Mental illnesses are a neurological condition and medication can help that in many different ways,” Fisher said. “With therapy, we help you understand what’s going on with your body, understand underlying reasons to your mental illness and become more understanding of your strengths and what you can overcome.”

Fisher said many therapeutic practices are beneficial for mental illness and meditating helps by focusing on the now rather than the anxiety or sadness of the past or future. Fisher recommends an app called the “Insight Timer,” which helps beginners with meditation skills and lessons.

“What I like to do when I have a bad day is to go out in nature,” said Rachael Bush, a senior majoring in animal science. “I go out of town whether it’s by myself or with friends because it makes me feel at peace and more calm.”

Besides medication, therapy and meditation, there are other ways college students can go through college with a mental illness:

1. Sleep

According to the National Alliance on Mental illness, getting 7-9 hours of sleep will boost your energy, help you focus better.

2. Surround yourself with positive people

According to Psych2go.org, “Remember you are studying to have a career that you love, so instead surround yourself with people who support you and will push you to your goals when life gets hard.”

3. Practice Self-Care

According to Psychology Today, self-care is important to your physical, emotional and mental well-being. Being able to get proper sleep, eat and maintain hygiene are ways of taking care of your daily life.

4. Eat healthy foods

According to Health.Harvard.edu, “Multiple studies have found a correlation between a diet high in refined sugars and impaired brain function — and even a worsening of symptoms of mood disorders, such as depression.”

5. Study groups

According to NAMI, study groups, tutors and campus writing centers are there for help. Doing these things will make classwork easier and help you understand homework better.

If you need to get in contact with the Counseling Center here on campus, their phone number is (208) 496-9330.

In case of emergencies, call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255.