In wake of death of suicidal student, mental health resources on campus highlighted
With the MSU community still reeling from the recent death of French senior Patrick Kegan Cochrane, mental health expert Victor Schwartz of the New York University School of Medicine weighed in on the current state of mental health on college campuses across the country.
Schwartz said mental health issues can stem from a variety of different factors, which many times present themselves as people start to leave home for college and are confronted with new challenges of stress and anxiety.
“Going away to college for many people and spending substantial time away from home carries its own level of stress,” he said.
Most mental health issues begin to present themselves between the ages of 19 and 25 years old, Schwartz said, making it imperative that students have resources on campus to help address those issues.
“Students need to be informed about what to do if they’re concerned about somebody and know the resources on campus to get help,” he said. “No one can deal with these types of things alone.”
MSU has numerous ways to help students who might be suffering from such mental ailments and many have begun to address mental health on campus through awareness efforts such as the Mental Health Awareness Week.
The MSU Counseling Center is designed to help students suffering from a wide array of different issues, such as anxiety, depression, trauma, eating disorders and more.
MSU spokesman Jason Cody said the counseling center is not the only place for students to get help. Residence assistants and academic advisers are also trained in spotting the signs of mental health issues and helping students find the recovery methods they need.
Schwartz said all college campuses are increasing their efforts in providing resources for students, which is one of the reasons contributing to increased numbers of students with mental health problems.
“It’s not clear that mental health problems are becoming more prevalent on campuses,” Schwartz said. “We know more students are receiving more care on campus, but that’s not clear if its because students are having more problems or if it’s just their care is shifting to the campus.”
This idea of care shifting from the community to the campus brings up another important aspect of this ongoing problem, which is that mental health has been treated as second class compared to other health problems in the U.S.
“We know that mental health care has not received the same attention in the health care system in the U.S. and internationally, too,” Schwartz said. “It’s kind of treated as a second-class citizen, so you don’t have as many community resources.”
The Listening Ear Crisis Intervention Center in Lansing is one community resource where anyone with a mental health disorder can go to get help.
While these issues of student depression and anxiety are troublesome, Schwartz said he sees the increasing focus placed on them as a good sign for the future of student health.
“Some of this is good news, I think we’re getting better at making young people more aware of their feelings so people are coming for help sooner,” he said.
If you or someone you know is suffering from a mental health ailment, such as depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety or any other type of issue, MSU can help. The MSU Counseling Center can be reached at 517-355-8270 or by walking in during the given hours.
Students can also go to Olin Health Center, or contact the Listening Ear Crisis Intervention Center's 24-hour crisis line at 517-337-1717.