University Mental Health Awareness Program Seeks to 'Break The Cycle'

Oct 24, 2019

Mental health on college campuses across the counry are a hot topic lately. And the reasons make sense. In January, Penn State's Center for Collegiate Mental Health released its tenth annual report presenting key findings and policy implicates in college mental health, and found that college students seeking treatment and the professionals who treat them continue to identify anxiety and depressions as the most common concerns for seeking treatment, among dozens of other concerns.

Further, as with past years, the 2018 report found that self-reported lifetime prevalence rates of 'threat-to-self' characteristics increased for the eighth year in a row.

The general lack of resources for rural mental health is also a growing concern. The 2017 national Survey on Drug Use and Health determined that 19.1% of 18 and older residents of nonmetropolitan counties had Any Mental Illness, or AMI, defined as a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder varying in impact from mild to severe impairment, including individuals with serious mental illness.

To these ends, the department of Health and Human Performance on the campus of Texas A&M University-Commerce is attempting to tackle some of the mental health stigma issues prevalent among rural college students in Northeast Texas.

Undergrad Jesus Medrano-Palacios and Dr. Elizabeth Wachira visited the studios of 88.9 KETR to share news of their "Break the Cycle" program, and "Dr. E," as she's known, explained how she frames the problem of mental health among college students and rural communities and what she thinks will need to happen to start seriously addressing the problem.

The series of "Break the Cycle" events will take place Wednesdays on October 23rd and 30th and then November 6th and 13th. Registration information is at 903-886-5549.