Psychological Services offers resources for those with anxiety

Shane Beneke

Starting a new semester of school can cause feelings of anxiety and stress amongst students, which can become a particularly serious  problem if not handled correctly,and potentially lead to mental illness.

Danielle Minor, a junior public relations major, said her anxiety comes from multiple sources.

“My anxiety comes from stress related to school, my organizations and when I feel that I’m not safe,” Minor said.

Research collected by the National Alliance on Mental Illness shows that one in four college students has a diagnosable mental illness, the most common being anxiety followed by depression.

“I do see a psychologist once a week at the Health Center and I know that there are other organizations on campus that I could see like counseling services,” she said.

Another statistic shows 40 percent of students affected with a mental illness do not seek help. There are a number of resources on campus that focus toward the promotion of good mental health. The most popular is Psychological Services located in DeWeese Health Center.

Psychological Services offers individual therapy with licensed professionals, many of which who specialize in collegiate mental health. In addition, they offer crisis intervention, attention deficit disorder screenings and substance abuse evaluations.

While the start of school is usually a busy time for Psychological Services, other times of the year are just as busy.

“We see that initially (in the beginning of the semester) we have a moderate amount of requests,” said Pamela Farer-Singleton, chief psychologist at DeWeese. She said a majority of students come to Psychological Services with issues that stem from the stress caused from their academic life.

“As we hit midterms, we see a peek and another peek at finals,” she said. “It seems to correlate with academic stress.”

Although academic stress seems to be one of the most common causes of anxiety amongst students, Farer-Singleton said sources of anxiety couldn’t be pinpointed. She said anxiety can stem from events like starting social interactions or even the activities that one faces in the every day life, like just getting out of bed.

As for advice for those who suffer from feelings of anxiety, Farer-Singleton said the first step is to identify and recognize that they have these feelings.

She said it is important to realize there are a number of resources available on campus for support.

“It’s also important to not feel embarrassed or lesser if you ask for help,” she said. “I think that’s a challenge for some people because mental health is so stigmatized.

Contact Shane Beneke at [email protected].