Strengthen Your Mental Health
Everyone can strengthen their mental health with some intentional effort.
If making changes on your own becomes too hard, you can always make an appointment with a counselor
Explore the following resources to asses and enhance your mental health.
- Coping with Covid Trauma
Here are some steps you can take and college resources you can use to address common concerns about returning to campus after Covid:
1. Self-care: Taking small steps to improve sleep, nutrition, exercise and emotional care can help increase your ability to manage stress.
Counseling Services website Health and Wellness
Student Health Clinic
2. Concern about Covid Risk: The college is closely following all health guidelines. You can protect yourself by getting a Covid vaccination and wearing a mask.
Dane County Public Health
3. Social Anxiety: You may be worried about the return to hallways and classrooms. This is common after the long remote learning period. Reconnecting with former classmates and identifying a few more can help ease the transition. Joining a student club can help as can talking to a counselor.
Student Life- Student Clubs & Orgs
4. Grief, trauma and mental health: Like many students, you may have experienced great losses from Covid. You can begin to heal by processing your experience with loved ones or a counselor. Counselors can help you directly or help you find mental health therapist in the community even if you don’t have insurance.
5. Social Justice: You may continue to be troubled by social justice issues considering George Floyd’s killing and related protests. You might find it helpful to get involved in social justice efforts at the college to help make things better and channel your energy.
United for Common Ground Student Organization
Intercultural Exchange Center firstname.lastname@example.org
7. Employment: The Career and Employment services office can help with resumes and finding a job among other things.
Career and Employment Services (CES)
8. Health issues: If you have any health issues you can begin to address them at the GHC student health clinic.
Student Health Clinic
- Assess your mental health
Here are some self-help resources you can explore about specific information about mental health. After learning more, if you need emotional support, make an appointment with a Madison College counselor!
- Students of Color Mental Health Information
Students of color make use of counseling less than their white classmates. This difference has many causes, some of which are related to how outreach and how counseling is delivered. Madison College Counseling Services is committed to offering inclusive services so student of color can access the same benefits that other students receive. We hope you will reach out to us as needed to make a plan to make things better in your life as a student.
Additional Resources for Students of Color:
Native American students
Asian American/Asian students
- Setting Goals for Mental Health
Think about how one of these areas of mental health works in your life now and how you would like it to work in the future.
Then identify specific measurable goals and a timeline to make small improvements in that area. See SMART goals for a summary of making effective goals.
For example, it’s not helpful to say “I want to be less stressed in my life” because it’s not a concrete, measurable goal. A more measurable goal could be: “To help manage stress, I want to exercise for 20 minutes three times per week for the month of September.”
At the end of the time period you choose, evaluate your progress and make adjustments as needed. You can consider one or two new goals to begin work on.
Remember that behavior change like this is challenging for most people. With continued effort and self-forgiveness, most people make meaningful progress.
- Managing Stress
Managing stress is an ongoing challenge for all college students who juggle school with work and family and friends. It requires intentional planning and effort to create lifestyle changes gradually. Here are a few website suggestions that can help you start a few small goals to manage stress more intentionally.
Many college students cope with anxiety and depression. Start by talking with a Madison College Counselor to make a plan to make things better.
Mental Health and College Students - Anxiety and Depression Association of America
Campus Calm - Website of College Student Leadership and Mental Health Speaker, Maria Pascucci
Anxiety in college: What we know and how to cope - Havard Medical School's Health Blog
- Positive Relationships/Communication
Healthy relationships are critical to your success in college!
The relationships you establish in college can have a major impact on your academic and personal success both in and out of the classroom. College students engage in a variety of important relationships at school, in the workplace, at home, and in society.
What are the traits of a healthy and unhealthy relationship?
The most important aspects of any healthy relationship are trust, effective communication, support and love! When college students are in unhealthy “toxic” relationships, they often struggle academically and personally.
Quiz: Are you in a healthy or unhealthy relationship?
Please take the “Are you in a healthy or unhealthy relationship” quiz to determine whether your relationships are healthy or unhealthy. This quiz is not a therapeutic diagnostic assessment, but a brief quiz to determine several important traits of a healthy and unhealthy relationships that you should be aware of.
How to Leave a Toxic Relationship and Still Love Yourself
What do you if you do find yourself in an unhealthy relationship?
Additional Resources on Relationships
The Friends and Friendships Web - This site is designed to assist with making and maintaining friendships; it covers topics such as building a friendship from casual friends and setting limits in friendships.
Healthy Romantic Relationships - This online brochure is specific to romantic relationships and contains information on building a healthy relationship, resolving conflict, and coping with outside pressures on the relationship.
Communication - Both people in the relationship need to feel free to express positive and negative feelings, complaints, and affection
Expectations - Both people need to be on the same page about what they want from the relationship.
Conflict - In all relationships, there are times when communication breaks down; healthy relationships are able to clear up conflicts and to emerge stronger as a result.
Boundaries - Both people need to be clear about what is okay/not okay in the relationship.
Provided by https://www.geneseo.edu/health/relationships
- Healthy Eating and Exercise
Because learning changes the structure of the brain, college students need good nutrition and physical activity to strengthen their capacity to learn.
- Improving Sleep/Rest
Sufficient sleep is essential for being a strong student. If you struggle to get to sleep at night or to fall asleep again after you wake, up you may want to talk to a medical provider.
Here are some basic ideas about improving your sleep.
At night, prioritize and maintain regular sleep habits:
- Sleep and wake about the same time each day
- Allow 30 minutes to unplug and unwind
- Try to keep your room cool dark and quiet
- Use relaxation strategies to unwind
During the day:
- Keep naps to a minimum
- Avoid excess caffeine specially later in the day
- Avoid excess alcohol
- Stay out of your bed except for sleep
For more reading: Sleep Hygiene - from SleepFoundation.org
- Healthy Choices Around Alcohol and Drugs
Concerned about your alcohol or drug use? Need recovery support?
Meet with John Boyne, Madison College Certified Substance Abuse Counselor