UW-W needs mental health support groups


Ky McCombe

Students walk along the sidewalks near the James R. Conner University Center Nov. 14.

Baily Topp, Contributor

Mental Health is a topic that we shy away from talking about, and that is something that needs to change. Mental Health is an important topic, and needs to be normalized. It needs to be normalized, in order for those who are struggling with it to be willing to seek help.It is not something that we should be embarrassed to talk about or afraid to ask for help. College students who have mental health issues are more likely to drop out of college. In fact according to NAMI, “Sixty-four percent of students who experience mental health problems in college and withdraw from school do so because of their mental health issues” (NAMI, 2012). As you can see their mental health will affect many aspects of their lives, and we need to do what we can to provide them with any resources that can help them so that they do not feel that they are going through this alone and so that they don’t feel that the only way things will get better is by dropping out of college.

The University of Wisconsin does have some mental health resources available to students. For example, they have a 24 hour crisis line that students can call. This line allows the students to be in contact with someone at any time of the day in order to talk with someone about how they are feeling and what they are going though.  They also have a counselor that is free of charge that the students are able to meet with. One resource that the University of Wisconsin Whitewater does not have is support groups.

According to research done by University of Wollongong support groups are effective. Support groups are a place where people can come together and have a safe place to talk about what is going on and what they are going through. These groups allow for students to meet others who are struggling in the same way that they are. These can help students in so many ways. THey can learn new coping skills as well as make new friends and have a support system that they may have not had previously. 

If the University decided to start up support groups for those struggling with mental health I truly believe that we would see a drop in numbers of those who dropout of college. As well as , we would see more people willing to reach out and ask for help when they are struggling. 

If you are wanting to make a difference when it comes to the resources that we have on campus for mental health, help by being a voice. Let staff on campus know that you feel we should have support groups.  Also, talk about mental health. Whether it be the struggles that you have gone through or are going through. The more it is talked about the more likely something is to be done about it. Mental Health is an important topic and we all need to work together and make it a priority that campus talks about it and has resources for those struggling with mental health.

Submitted by: Baily Topp