Content warning: This post includes discussion of suicide.
For some people, college can be the happiest time in their life: new friends, a new environment, a fresh start, and an entirely new life. But for others, maybe even for everyone, college can get dark. There are exams, navigating new relationships, being away from your family and roots, the academic and societal pressure to succeed, and the suffocating feeling of being lost in the world. At times, it can be just too much.
According to Active Minds, a national organization that advocates for mental health amongst college students, 39% of students in college experience a significant mental health issue. Additionally, it was found that suicide is the second leading cause of death amongst young adults, following motor-vehicle accidents. While these statistics can be harrowing, it’s essential for us to realize that mental health and suicide are incredibly prevalent issues for not only Gen Z, but for the world.
Taking care of your mental health as a college student is important, if not vital. And it has nothing to do with doing “well” in your class: seeking professional help should come before everything, because you are far too brilliant to lose and far more important than a GPA.
In honor of National Suicide Prevention Week, Her Campus is rounding up some of the best mental health resources you can use as a college student, beyond the campus counseling center. Because you deserve to be your best, we all do.
Navigating mental health resources can be overwhelming, but ULifeline makes it a little bit easier. Sponsored by The Jed Foundation, a nonprofit that provides mental health resources to teens and young adults, ULifeline can help you find exactly what mental health services your campus has available. Using their campus search tool, ULifeline populates your school’s resources on one, simple page—complete with contact and emergency information.
However, for schools that are lacking in resources, ULifeline also serves as a database for mental health resources. On the site, you can filter resources according to what you may be struggling with, or seeking help for. From alcohol and drug rehabilitation to stress relief services, ULifeline makes college mental health resources easily accessible.
2. Talkspace Student
As someone who struggles with anxiety, reaching out for help was always a terrifying concept. At the beginning of my mental health recovery, I couldn’t imagine sitting face-to-face with a stranger and telling them all of my inner thoughts. And while in-person therapy is extremely beneficial, teletherapy can be a great tool for college students. Talkspace, a popular teletherapy app, has an exclusive membership dedicated to students, providing them with accessible mental health resources.
Talkspace’s student membership is less expensive than their full plan, but still offers students teletherapy options like counseling, access to a psychiatrist, and more. With Talkspace, you’ll have the ability to message your therapist whenever you’re in need of help, or just need someone to talk to.
3. NATIONAL ALLIANCE ON MENTAL ILLNESS (NAMI)
The National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI) provides services to any and everyone who may be struggling with their mental health. Breaking grounds with their three-digit hotline 988, NAMI is staffed with mental health professionals and counselors to assist those in crisis.
Aside from the mental health hotline, NAMI is home to a variety of support groups and other therapy options. On their site, you can use their search tool to find a group or NAMI affiliate near you. These NAMI centers can provide you access to free specialized classes and events to aid in the betterment of your mental health.
4. CRISIS TEXT LINE
When you’re in crisis, it can be hard to say the words “I need help” out loud. The Crisis Text Line is a 24/7 hotline that allows you to access mental health professionals from your mobile phone and WhatsApp. A trained crisis counselor will message you back instantly, and provide you with the tools and resources you may need while in crisis.
To access the hotline, simply test HOME to 74174 from anywhere in the United States. The Crisis Text Line also has a variety of services and other resources for any mental health issue you may be struggling with—such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and more.
5. AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION (AFSP)
Finally, the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is a specialized database for suicidal ideation and prevention. This site can provide you with the tools necessary to find a mental health professional near you, and offers resources for a variety of demographics and communities.
Whether you’re thinking of suicide, concerned for a friend, lost a loved one, or are a suicide survivor, AFSP can provide you with specialty groups and connect you with professionals to aid in your mental health journey.
Struggling with your mental health can feel lonely, especially when you begin to struggle with suicidal ideation. And while the idea of reaching out for help may seem daunting, always remember that there are resources out there to help you or a loved one—any hour of the day. We like the way the world spins with you on it.
If you or someone you know is seeking help for mental health concerns, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website, or call 1-800-950-NAMI(6264) or the new National Hotline, 988. For confidential treatment referrals, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website, or call the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP(4357).