Trained staff members, and faith, provide a light at the end of the tunnel for those suffering from depression and anxiety

by Alice King – Horizon Opinion Editor

The “deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history” was the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre. Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 32 people, was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Since then there has been an increase in awareness of mental health in college students.

While Hesston College hasn’t experienced the kind of pain and tragedy of Virginia Tech and some other schools, any student is susceptible to mental health problems. Anxiety and depression is the number one mental health issue of college students. As we reflect on completing the first eight weeks of school and preparing for midterms, we realize how stressful it was…the adjustment to a new school year, the adjustment from being a high school student to being a college student, new friends, and new schedule to keep, extracurricular activities, and the demands from our academics. It can be such an overwhelming experience that we may not know how to deal with it. We may become anxious. We may feel out of place and become depressed.

The good news is that you’re not the only one and there is help. Resident assistants and ministry assistants have been educated on how to deal with some of these things, if you don’t feel comfortable with them, you can speak to the RDs, Julie Lehman or Dan Harrison, a trusted faculty or staff member, your friend. Don’t be embarrassed to open up about your struggles. There is a possibility that if these things are not addressed and dealt with, they can progressively get worse.

Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

As we go into these next eight weeks, we go in with the knowledge on how to manage our schedule, what to expect from our teachers, how to manage our social life, that it’s not so bad being away from home and when we do feel homesick, there are plenty of people on campus that will make you feel better. Cast all your anxieties and fears, doubts and thoughts of depression on God, He will take care of you. He says that He will not give us more then we can handle. So, let’s go in with our heads held high with confidence and courage to conquer every “battle” that we may encounter in this half of the semester.

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