Mental Health First – Northern Iowan


Students have five free individual sessions at the counseling center and to schedule an initial assessment appointment.

As students, it’s easy for us to get bogged down in our schoolwork and forget the importance of our own mental health. I have seen many classmates stay up until four in the morning working on a project, studying for an exam rather than provide for their own basic needs and ignore their friends and family to write an article. College students constantly forget to put themselves first while in college.

Schoolwork is tough, and for students it can be overwhelming, with due dates looming overhead and ridiculously large projects taking hours to complete. With the difficulty of schoolwork, coupled with the distance from home, as well as student relationships and organizations, being a student can seem impossible.

According to Active Minds, “39% of college students have a significant mental health issue,” a statistic that makes sense when considering the everyday lives of college students. Most of these people suffer in silence, throw themselves into their duties, withdraw, etc.

The mental health of college students is alarming. According to a study titled 33 Alarming Statistics on the Mental Health of College Students, “64% of students drop out of college due to mental health issues.” Clearly, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this problem, but college remains the single biggest contributing factor to student mental decline.

Despite all these student struggles, many of them do not use the resources in front of them. At the University of Northern Iowa, students get five free therapy sessions, plus free group therapy and crisis appointments. Student Wellness Services also offers wellness coaching sessions, which are a bit different, but still free.

Even though students are aware of all of these resources, many of them forget about them, become nervous about using them, don’t recognize the importance of the service, or don’t think they need help.

College doesn’t stop with the students, nor do the due dates, projects, papers, and time limit. As students, we need to find the little moments to take care of ourselves and use the resources around us. Whether it’s listening to a favorite song, going to bed early, putting on a face mask or undergoing wellness therapy/coaching. This responsibility does not rest solely with the students; it is the responsibility of friends, family, staff, faculty and others to de-stigmatize mental health, promote resources and support those in need.