Self-care habits should be promoted, not feared


State Hornet Staff

College campuses produce a multi-layered lifestyle where coursework, employment and personal obligations intertwine, often in conflicting manners. As a result, students are often forced into decisions in which one aspect of life will suffer while tending to another.

Many of us have responsibilities that need attention every single day. The inability to finish everything you intended to set out to do for the day is enough to stress you out well into the next day. When priorities start coming at you from all corners, this is what induces a panic that could lead to self-sabotage. It is for that reason mental health services are an absolute necessity for students to use on a regular basis.

One major misconception students have when they hear the term “mental health” is that asking for help is a sign of weakness. Even in times of great sadness or stress, people tend to strive for self-sufficiency. The idea that asking for helps makes someone a failure is a stigma not only erroneous but harmful. Reaching out takes a great deal of strength, and this strength can help a student before their emotional health declines to the point of self-harm or substance abuse.

It is for that reason that Sacramento State’s efforts in stress management, outreach and suicide prevention are worth commending. Despite Student Health and Counseling Services being in need of more accessibility for less urgent problems, resources are heavily deployed on assuring students that it is OK to be struggling.

Earlier last month, a bill authored by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty was announced that would match funding for mental health on college campuses dollar-for-dollar. While it is still in its preliminary phase where details are still in the air, movements like these are taking a step in the direction to assist students facing rising stress in a little-to-no-slack environment. If passed, it will prove promising if it means expanding services and accessibility.

The momentum is ripe for promoting mental health — programs like Active Minds are doing their part to reach out to our Sac State community, but it can not stop there. As college students, it is not only our duty to educate ourselves in better self-care, but to look out for our classmates, our friends and our acquaintances if any warning signs of mental health problems ever arise.

The difference between going to bed with a level state of mind or with tears soaking your pillow is knowing that it is OK to ask for help. If everybody had their lives figured out in college, then there would be no need to be here.