Mental & Emotional Health

We all experience problems in our lives. Sometimes those are situational and quickly resolved. Sometimes they can be more serious and difficult to handle. Counseling Services helps students with a wide range of mental health concerns. If you or someone you know is stressed by life circumstances, experiencing mental health symptoms, or have any thoughts of suicide, please talk to a caring professional.

  • Visit CSU Health Network Counseling Services: 123 NW Aylesworth Hall.
    Drop-in hours: Monday-Friday 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.
  • Call CSU Health Network Counseling Services: (970) 491-6053
    Mental Health Crisis Intervention (CSU): (970) 491-7111 (after hours emergencies ONLY)
  • Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-TALK (8255). This is a 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

However, keep in mind that the mere absence of mental health concerns does not equal positive mental health and wellness. There is a lot we can do to accentuate the positive and buffer ourselves from depression and other forms of mental concerns.

Emotional, mental, and social health often cannot be separated. They each contribute greatly to our overall well-being. Emotional health emphasizes an awareness and acceptance of one’s thoughts and feelings. Social health encompasses connecting with community, family, friends, and co-workers in ways that enrich your life and the lives of those around you.

Assessments

Your mental health is often at the heart of your personal and academic success.

Explore Ulifeline, an online resource center where college students can be comfortable searching for the information they need and want regarding mental health.

Possible signs and symptoms of a mental illness:

  • Finding little or no pleasure in life
  • Feeling worthless or extremely guilty
  • Crying a lot for no particular reason
  • Withdrawing from other people
  • Experiencing severe anxiety, panic, or fear
  • Having big mood swings
  • Experiencing a change in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Having very low energy
  • Losing interest in hobbies and pleasurable activities
  • Having too much energy, having trouble concentrating or following through on plans
  • Feeling easily irritated or angry
  • Experiencing racing thoughts or agitation
  • Hearing voices or seeing images that other people do not experience
  • Believing that others are plotting against you
  • Wanting to harm yourself or someone else

Anxiety: Being nervous or feeling awkward in some social situations is normal. Some, though, find it extremely hard to be part of social situations. Check out the Anxiety Assessment, a questionnaire that helps assess symptoms related to anxiety.

Positive Psychology: Learn more by taking numerous self assessments of your strengths and resilience at Authentic Happiness.

Positive Psychology & Resilience

Positive psychology is the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive. There are many strengths that act as a buffer against mental illness. Some of these strengths and virtues include:

  • Courage
  • Future-mindedness
  • Optimism
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Faith
  • Work ethic
  • Hope
  • Honesty
  • Persistence
  • Flexibility

Resiliency is one’s ability to bounce back from adversity. There are certain skills and ways of thinking that can increase a person’s capacity to be resilient.

Focusing on recognizing and developing your strengths can contribute to your well-being and happiness. The ability to flourish is not a passive process, you can actively practice and promote these skills in your life and experience more happiness while, at the same time, promoting your positive mental health.

Wouldn’t it be great to experience more happiness? Happiness is the primary motivator of human behavior, we strive for happiness in our lives and new research shows that we have far more influence over our happiness than we once thought. Review some of the websites below to learn more.

Websites:
Explore Authentic Happiness to learn more about your strengths and virtues as well as learn some practices.

Take a look at this article, The Happiness Diet by leading researcher, Sonja Lyubomirsky, about how, by limiting over thinking, we can improve our emotional well-being.

The Positive Psychology Center is the nation’s leader in studying and promoting positive ideas.

Harvard Psychology Professor, Daniel Gilbert, talks about his book Stumbling on Happiness.

Emotional Health

Emotional Health emphasizes an awareness and acceptance of one’s feelings. It also relates to your self-esteem or the opinions and views you have about yourself. Having positive self-esteem and self-worth strongly influences our emotional health and overall well-being.

Emotional intelligence refers to the understanding and the intuitiveness you have about your own as well as others’ feeling and emotions. Being competent in your ability to sense and use emotions can help you to more effectively manage yourself and influence positive outcomes in relationships with others.

Beyond awareness, you need to be able to express emotions appropriately. Healthy emotional expression involves being able to speak up for yourself and express your thoughts, opinions, and feelings in a manner that does not alienate or hurt others.

Sometimes a challenging aspect of emotional expression is learning to control your anger. Anger is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion. But when it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems – problems at school, in your personal relationships, and in the overall quality of your life.

Explore some of the articles and resources below to learn more.

Websites:
Building Self-Esteem provides a simple self-help guide to better self-esteem.

Everyday Health has many articles and tools to review regarding emotional health and emotional expression.

There are interesting Gender Differences in Emotional Expression. This article explores those differences.

This article takes a look at Strategies for controlling your anger.

If you are interested in getting, or already have, an emotional support animal or service dog, here is an information fact sheet from CSU.

Mental Illness

Mental illnesses are medical conditions that disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, and ability to relate to others. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life. Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion, or income. Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character, or poor upbringing. A new federal report estimates that 20 percent of American adults — more than 45 million people — had some form of mental illness in 2010.

The good news about mental illness is that recovery is possible. Most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan.

Have you been feeling stressed, anxious, sad, hopeless, irritable, or unfocused? It’s okay to answer “yes” if that’s the case. These feelings could be a normal part of the college experience, but they could also be something that requires help to overcome.

The average age of onset for many mental health disorders, the most common being depression and anxiety is typically between the ages of 18-24. Almost half of college students who participated in the National Collegiate health survey reported feeling overwhelming anxiety and 28 percent reported feeling too depressed to function.

If you were in physical pain, you’d get it checked out. Mental health is just as important.

Adapted from NAMI and the Jed Foundation.

Anxiety disorders, depression, and bipolar disorders are the most common among college students. Learn more about these different disorders at the websites below.

Websites:
Anxiety Disorders Association of America promotes the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety and stress-related disorders through advocacy, education, training, and research.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance is the leading patient-directed national organization focusing on mood disorders, the most prevalent mental illnesses.

Half of Us is a collaboration with mtvU and the Jed Foundation to initiate a public dialogue to raise awareness about the prevalence of mental health issues on campus and connect students to the appropriate resources to get help.

The Jed Foundation is a leading organization working to reduce emotional distress and prevent suicide among college students.

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) helps to diminish the burden of mental illness through research. This public health mandate promotes powerful scientific tools to achieve better understanding, treatment, and eventually prevention of mental illness.

Ulifeline is an online resource center where college students can be comfortable searching for the information they need and want regarding mental health and suicide prevention.

Healthy Relationships

Healthy relationships bring happiness and contribute to your emotional health and well-being. In fact most researchers believe that our positive social relationships are our greatest source of happiness. Studies have demonstrated that individuals who are in healthy relationships tend to have more happiness and less stress.

One of the most exciting parts of coming to college is the opportunity to meet new people and form new friendships and romantic relationships. This is a part of your college life that should be enjoyable and enhancing to your self-esteem. Sometimes, however, college students find themselves in romantic relationships that make them unhappy, that do not enhance their self-esteem, and that involve a lot of fighting and conflict.

Many of the websites below provides more discussion of these topics.

Websites:
Learn more about Building a Relationship and think through some of the important relationship steps.

Visit Discovery Health for information about building relationships or enhancing current ones.

Search Go Ask Alice for a Q & A database that houses numerous relationship related topics. Alice is produced by Columbia University’s Health Education Program.

How to Maintain a Healthy Relationship provides a nice overview of several relationship building and sustaining tips.

University of Texas Counseling Center provides helpful relationship information.

Campus Resources

The CSU Health Network is here for you!

If you are concerned about possible signs of a mental illness or are feeling isolated or having relationship difficulties, the Counseling Services are here for you. Talk to a caring professional:

  • Visit CSU Health Network Counseling Services: 123 NW Aylesworth Hall
    Walk-in hours: Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Tuesday, 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
  • Call CSU Health Network Counseling Services: (970) 491-6053
    Mental Health Crisis Intervention (CSU): (970) 491-7111

Student in need of medical assistance:

  • Visit CSU Health Network Medical Services: Hartshorn Building, 600 South Drive, Fort Collins, CO, 80523. Call (970) 491-7121

SLiCE brings together student organizations, student leaders, and student volunteers under one banner; making our campus a better community and a more involved place.

The Women and Gender Advocacy Center provides programs and resources focusing on all genders, social justice, and interpersonal violence prevention, including healthy relationships.

Campus Recreation offers diverse recreational, social, and instructional leisure-oriented programs.

Ramlink helps you to connect to CSU.

Local Resources

SummitStone Health Partners is the local non-profit healthcare provider for Larimer County residents who support consumers of all ages through innovation driven, compassionate, and comprehensive treatment of mental illness, behavioral disorders, and substance abuse.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Colorado is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health education, advocacy and support organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans with mental illness.

Websites

On Positive Psychology and Resiliency:

  • Explore Authentic Happiness to learn more about your strengths and virtues as well as learn some practices.
  • Take a look at this article, The Happiness Diet by leading researcher, Sonja Lyubomirsky, about how, by limiting over thinking, we can improve our emotional well-being.
  • The Positive Psychology Center is the nation’s leader in studying and promoting these ideas.
  • Harvard Psychology Professor, Daniel Gilbert, talks about his book Stumbling on Happiness.

On Emotional Health:

On Mental Illness:

  • Anxiety Disorders Association of America promotes the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety and stress-related disorders through advocacy, education, training, and research.
  • Campus Mental Health is a guide to help students understand their rights when it comes to seeking help for mental illness or emotional distress.
  • Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance is the leading patient-directed national organization focusing on mood disorders, the most prevalent mental illnesses.
  • Half of Us is a collaboration with mtvU and the Jed Foundation to initiate a public dialogue to raise awareness about the prevalence of mental health issues on campus and connect students to the appropriate resources to get help.
  • The Jed Foundation is a leading organization working to reduce emotional distress and prevent suicide among college students.
  • National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) helps to diminish the burden of mental illness through research. This public health mandate promotes powerful scientific tools to achieve better understanding, treatment, and eventually prevention of mental illness.
  • Ulifeline is an online resource center where college students can be comfortable searching for the information they need and want regarding mental health and suicide prevention.

On Healthy Relationships: