This time of the semester is stressful and difficult; it can seem like every deadline in every class is stacked up back-to-back-to-back. There’s countless other things weighing on us.
But the most important thing to remember if, and when, we are struggling is there is help.
There is hope.
It’s a message that seems particularly important to spread now.
On Thursday, one of our fellow students died, and on Sunday, a former student was seriously injured.
We won’t ever be able to say what factors led to these situations, but we can say, with certainty, there are resources available to help if you or someone you know is having thoughts of taking their life.
Having suicidal thoughts and behaviors — as well as any mental illness such as depression or anxiety — are not signs of weakness. Too often, happiness is described as something you can choose to be. It’s not that simple. If you’re not OK, that’s OK. But suicide is preventable, and if you need it, there are people who can provide help.
If you need someone to talk to, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” or, if you’re in Ohio, “4HOPE” to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
There are also resources on campus if you’re experiencing an urgent need. In addition to calling 911 or visiting the emergency room, you can call Counseling and Consultation Services at 614-292-5766 to talk with a therapist; if its after-hours, call and choose Option 2.
You also can schedule counseling sessions, both individual and for groups, through CCS. You’ll have to schedule these, but they can be incredibly helpful, and CCS’ website provides resources for what to do while you wait for your appointment. There are reliable private practices in central Ohio that provide counseling and mental health services, too.
The places and people who can help don’t stop there. The mental health advocacy group Half of Us has a campaign, “Press Pause,” that provides great advice — like simple breathing exercises — if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
There also are things each of us can do on campus to help each other. If you think your friend might be struggling, don’t be afraid to ask them if they’re OK. Be mindful of your classmates, too. There are things we can do in our daily lives to make sure no one feels alone — because the truth is, you are never alone.
It isn’t easy to always remember, but no matter what you’re struggling with, there is help. There is hope.