It’s Real: College Students and Mental Health

Written By: Zayon Morgan 

On Friday, Nov. 13, from 3-4 p.m., the St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) Peer Health Educators are partnering with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to bring the event called It’s Real: College Students and Mental Health. The purpose of this event is to learn about and discuss the unique challenges of mental health amongst college students. The event will be held via Zoom and registration is required before the link can be given. 

“It’s Real” is a mental health awareness documentary that tells the stories of six college students from across the country. The stories depicted are 100% true and convey the message that depression, stress and other mental illnesses are real issues that can be managed with treatment and interventions. The 17-minute documentary encourages students to be mindful and considerate of their mental health and seek assistance if needed. There will also be a discussion and Q&A following the discussion. In addition to SMCM students, we will also be joined by members of other college communities. The event is co-hosted by College of Southern Maryland, Anne Arundel Community College, Howard County Community College, Baltimore City Community College, and Frederick Community College. 

“Mental health is central to a student’s success and well-being” according to the American Association of Suicide Prevention. There is an ongoing battle with mental health amongst college students. As former high school students, we can all understand the excitement of looking forward to college. Everyone’s entire senior year was focused on preparing for the future after graduation. Nearly everyone has been through the struggle of submitting college applications and the anxiety that is faced while waiting for a decision. After acceptance letters come rushing through the mail, students can finally relax and begin planning for this next adventure. 

Unfortunately, there is a new challenge to face. The transition from high school to college can be very stressful. The act of moving thousands of miles away from your parents to attend school in an entirely different area is not particularly easy. For many students, this is their first time living anywhere on their own and they are faced with new responsibilities and have to deal with the uncertainty of the semester. It is important to understand how exactly these kids are feeling. Well, there is no way of knowing unless those students reach out and ask for help. According to the American Suicide Prevention Center (AASP), “Often students’ beliefs about suicide and mental health affect their attitudes and perceptions about help-seeking and their intentions towards pursuing available resources.” Every student should feel comfortable with sharing the details of their mental health, which is why the  AASP partners with college campuses, such as ours, to create more opportunities for students to be educated on and made aware of mental illnesses. 

In order to attend this event, participants must sign up at the website link on Inside SMCM by Nov. 13 at noon. Students will receive the Zoom link one to two days before the presentation.

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