Millennials are on the brink of a mental health crisis. UD wants to help
There is a deeply unsettling, yet remarkably intriguing, detail about millennials suffering from mental health issues — everyone feels "alone." But they are in good company; one in four young adults aged 18-24 is diagnosed with a mental health condition, according to the World Heath Organization.
I repeat: one in four young adults. It could be the girl who sits behind you in that boring COMM lecture, the guy who cut the line at Starbucks or maybe even a close friend who is suffering in silence.
Many students are suffering from anxiety and depression, among other mental ailments. Common symptoms are loneliness, exhaustion, and perhaps worst of all — hopelessness.
But there is hope. A lot of it, actually. The amount of mental health resources offered right here at UD may surprise you.
I spoke with Dr. Brad Wolgast, the Director of UD's Center for Counseling & Student Development. I asked Dr. Wolgast what he would like the many students struggling with mental health issues to know. Here's what he had to say:
"We are available to all enrolled UD students for consultation and often for counseling. Our staff is comprised of thirteen licensed psychologists, seven doctoral level trainees nearing completion of their degrees, and three new postdoctoral therapists as well as two licensed psychiatrists. We offer short term counseling as well as emergency walk in hours every weekday. One of our most successful programs is our group program, offering several opportunities to learn how to connect better with others, explore one's experience as a person of color, learn anxiety management tools, or learn mindfulness. These groups are experienced as very helpful by the students who complete them."
Dr. Wolgast also emphasized that these services are covered by the student health fee — so don't worry about going broke in an attempt to feel better. Meetings are also entirely confidential.
There's more: Did you know that the University of Delaware runs a 24/7 Helpline? The Helpline is available for any student in crisis — or who just needs to talk. The person answering your call is a licensed psychiatrist. Again: it's completely confidential.
The UD Helpline number is: (302) 831-1001
Counselors are ready and eager to help. They may also redirect callers to the Office of Disability Support Services. Many students apply for accommodations through DSS.
The DSS staff is eager to meet your needs; perhaps you become anxious taking an exam in a crowded lecture hall, or a certain topic covered in class causes you distress. They are prepared to come up with a solution to help with any problem you may be experiencing.
Students are striving for wellness independently too — check out Active Minds at UD, Healthy Hens, and Student Health Wellness and Promotion. A positive atmosphere promoting productive steps towards mental wellness provides a safe, inclusive space on campus.
You are not alone. Despite the troubles that plague so many of us, better days are far nearer than they seem.
Now you have the resources to chase happier days.