Texas Tech University is not only home to Raider Red and the Masked Rider, but also to several mental health resources. As our world has faced unimaginable tragedy, it is more important than ever to take advantage of the many resources here at Tech.
Unfortunately, many students fear seeking help due to the stigma that surrounds mental illness. This stigma does not correlate well with the highest rate of mental illness the world has ever seen.
According to Mental Health America, 19% of adults in the United States struggle with a mental illness, with 4.55% having a severe mental illness.
This translates to approximately 47 million adults who struggle with a mental illness within the United States.
According to Active Minds, 39% of college students struggle with a mental health issue, and 67% of adults from 18-24 with anxiety or depression do not seek treatment.
These statistics are alarming and overwhelming, especially with suicide being the second leading cause of death among young adults, according to Active Minds.
COVID-19 made these numbers substantially worse, with a CDC study finding that anxiety and depression rates were 3 times as high as they were in 2019.
Thankfully, the destigmatization of mental illness combined with eligible individuals seeking treatment contributes to combatting these numbers.
Here at Tech, trained staff focus on preventative measures to combat mental illness and its effects on students, their relationships, academics, and social life.
One of the many resources includes a 24/7/365 Crisis Helpline, which offers assistance for students who are experiencing mental health crisis, suicidal thoughts, sexual assault, or interpersonal violence.
This is an excellent resource for those moments where help seems more inaccessible. It is available for all students to use without fear of judgement or ridicule.
Similarly, Tech offers mental health services through the Student Counseling Center or the Student Wellness Center, which offer several services and support groups that accommodate minority communities and promote mental health.
Although it may seem intimidating, students at Tech should give themselves permission to seek help or assistance when needed and not judge themselves for needing it.
It is important for the student body to understand that these services provide for a wide range of issues, and one should not delay seeking help because their issue seems too small.
The physiological effects of stress, anxiety, depression or anything in between do not establish limits so that care can only be sought after a certain threshold is passed.
When the body and mind need help, then the body and mind need help. Allowing stigma surrounding mental illness to influence one’s decision to seek help does not benefit the mind or body in any way.
Just as one with a broken bone would not dismiss their pain and toughen it up, one should not view the treatment of mental illness as a matter of toughening it up.
Texas Tech’s Rise, which stands for Risk Intervention and Safety Education, emphasizes the importance of seeking mental health treatment when needed.
RISE hosts events during Suicide Prevention Week, which include Coffee and Consent, Mental Health First Aid, Mental Health Resource Fair, and the Glow Walk.
In addition, the Center for Collegiate Recovery Communities at Texas Tech offers 12-step programs that would be beneficial for students who are seeking help with an addiction or eating disorders.
The abundance of mental health resources at Tech suggests that students should not feel ashamed for needing or seeking support.
College life can be very difficult and overwhelming and create many negative emotions as the majority of students here are navigating a new chapter of life.
Students at Tech should know that help is available, regardless of the problem. There is no shame in needing help, and there is not a requirement for how severe a problem needs to be to receive help.
Here at Tech, there are trained staff ready to listen and ready to help.