Students get free counseling- use it, you probably need it

It is no secret that college students are faced with a lot of stress and anxiety. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), about 80% of college students struggle with raised stress levels.

At Edmonds Community College, that means about 8,255 students feel stressed on any given day. The ADAA has also found that only 36.9% of those who are suffering from anxiety get the help they need, which means that many of our fellow students continue to suffer in silence. This must stop.

The stigma surrounding mental health due to people not being educated on the topic, or trying to fit into the “ideal” social dynamic, needs to end. Counseling sessions should be easily accessible for students attempting to maintain their stress and their emotional health. Our school needs to come together as a community to offer a judgement-free environment that encourages students to get the help they need.

College students have more than just school related stress in their lives. Many students face family stress, social stress, and work related stress to deal with in between classes. During these stressful times, students will begin to feel overwhelmed and as though they have no one to turn to. Edmonds Community College counselor Rosemary Earl wants you to know that is not the case. “Sometimes people come in when things are already starting to fall apart.” Says Earl. The Counseling and Wellness Department hopes that students might begin to attend in order to gain knowledge of stress management before they reach a breaking point.

The EdCC Counseling and Wellness Center offers one-on-one counseling for students in Mountlake Terrace Hall 145. Appointments can be set up in person, or by calling the front desk at 425-640-1358 to schedule an appointment. Earl begins her counseling sessions by educating students on stress and anxiety: “I talk to people about what anxiety is, the fact that it is normal and actually helpful.” However, it is also important to know when anxiety gets in the way, and becomes unhelpful. Earl says “Anxiety feels really bad. So much so that we will do really weird things to avoid it.”

We are all familiar with procrastination. It is a typical behavior that occurs when we delay an action we need to get done or in order to avoid a stressor. Everyone copes with stress and anxiety differently. It is human nature to seek a support system. The Stress Management group at EdCC allows students who thrive in group settings to come to a relaxed environment to learn how to manage and prevent stress. Attending with a friend is a great way to show your support for them. Earl says, “Bring your friends! If you don’t want to go by yourself, drag your friend in with you!” These classes are held every Thursday from 3-4 p.m.

Stress and anxiety are normal, but it isn’t something to ignore. All feelings are valid and it can be beneficial to share them. If you begin feeling heightened stress or anxiety, find someone you trust to confide in. Let yourself benefit from getting the help you need and fight back against the stigma surrounding mental health.