Column: Mental health awareness

Suicide rates are on a rise with no type of discrimination against race, gender or age, but it isn’t getting as much media attention as other public topics.

According to the Washington Post, 45 thousand suicides occurred in the United States in 2016, which is more than twice the number of homicides. Between the ages of 15 to 34, suicide is the second-leading cause of death.

With this continuing to be a growing problem in the United States, it only makes sense that we should try and nip the problem in the bud by starting at the basic level of foundation, school.

Pierce College offers six free therapy sessions a year in the Health Office, but most students don’t know this because there it isn’t heavily advertised around campus. This leaves many students unaware of the precious resources that are at their fingertips.

There could be many students walking around campus in desperate need of someone that they can talk to and not be judged, and that is completely available to them. If only they knew where to go.

Students can simply walk into the Health Office and request a therapy session, which would be followed by finding a date that fits their schedule. Students must have their identification number handy.

Pierce should also hold mental health workshops that can show students effective ways of channeling anger and distress. They could show students other outlets that they could use to help them feel better, as well as provide different programs that deal with mental health repair.

There are many different factors that go into the subject of mental health and what can affect it. People could be stressed about money, relationships and overall happiness, and if the staff at Pierce College could become aware of what exactly plagues the student body of the campus, they could take steps to prevent these problems.

Psychologist Gregg Henriques, Ph.D., explained that evidence suggests that college students have a greater level of stress and psychopathology than any time in the nation’s history, so this isn’t something that can continue to be brushed under the rug.

Yes, there are many basic occurrences that can cause anxiety and sadness, and those will pass, but if we continue to ignore the fact that people are facing real depression and anxiety to the point of fatalities, we will be the only ones to blame.