Mental Health Awareness @ CCC

By JONATHAN MOSHETTI

Staff Writer

Imagine waking up for that important 9am class at 8am and instead of getting ready like you should be doing you lay there for another half hour debating if you should go. Worried about if people will like what you’re wearing. Wondering if you’ll actually talk to anyone this time or just sit in silence listening trying not to put your head back down and slip back into the sleep you crave for so much. This is depression, this is anxiety, this is not your fault. This is not something to apologize for, and this is not something that you are dealing with alone.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), mental Illness is one of the biggest issues surrounding today’s college students, mostly the issue of anxiety and depression. Bense seems to think the factors that serve a big part in this growing rate of mental illness is the increase of poverty, stress and pressure surrounding todays youth. NAMI states that about 1 in 5 adults suffer from some kind of mental illness and many of them never get the help they need, be it lack of interest in seeing a specialist or not wanting to be seen as weak for having these troubles.

I have recently had the pleasure of talking to the Academic and Mental Health Counselor for Cumberland County College, Heather Bense. She was able to inform me of the services provided by CCC for any and all students dealing with mental health issues. CCC provides counseling and guidance to any student that is currently registered and offices are open Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm. All counseling is completely confidential unless outside help is needed and permission is given by the student. Offices can be found in the EOF/SSS suite in the Student Center.

Depression and Anxiety Disorders are the leading mental illnesses in the country, but it seems to be an issue that no one wants to believe or no one thinks is real. According to medicine.net approximately 18.8 million American adults suffer from depression and approximately 19.1 million adults suffer from an Anxiety Disorder of any kind. These disorders have been shown to lead to many more problems such as Eating disorders, sleep deprivation, and Suicidal tendencies.

I was able to hear stories from three Cumberland County College students who dealt with mental illness or still do. These students wished to remain anonymous. All three students suffer from anxiety issues and depression but none have gotten any type of medical care or counseling, which is something they wish they would have done sooner.

My research has shown me that Mental Illness is something that shouldn’t have such a bad stigma around it. People need to know that they are not weak, they are not less of a man or less of a woman. Please know that if you deal with any mental illness you need to reach out to someone. You should never keep all your emotions, thoughts, and sadness bottled up. Seek out help, people care about you and want to help you, you’re not in this alone.

If you wish to seek support please contact Heather Bense at hbense@cccnj.edu.

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