Do you or someone you care about struggle with repeated feelings of sadness, anxiety, disconnection from emotions, difficulty getting out of bed, or lack of interest in hobbies or friendships? If the answer is yes, these mental health struggles don’t have to be faced in solitude. Below are helpful, genuine resources designed specifically for art students in mind. Before things get too busy, consider placing your mental health as a priority at the beginning of the semester.
MSU Mental Health
Self-Care for a Bear is a new wellness series just for students at MSU. These topics and discussions are catered to the physical, mental, and emotional needs of college students, with helpful tips and resources for additional information. Last semester, the series met on Tuesdays in the Magers Health and Wellness Center room 100. The schedule for the spring semester is not yet out, but you can find updates on the Health and Wellness website.
Brief screenings are the quickest way to determine if you should consider connecting with a mental health professional. You can make an appointment with mental health clinicians anytime at Magers Health and Wellness Center; plus, online screenings through the MSU Counseling center are always completely anonymous and confidential. Learn more about online screenings.
Call 417-836-5116 for more information or discover additional resources online. Never forget that mental health is a key part of your overall health.
Mental Health & Art Students
“All college students face stress, but mental-health professionals say art students face particular and particularly intense, kinds of stress that their peers in many other scholastic situations don’t,” states Daniel Grant of The Chronicle of Higher Education. The nature of lengthy studio classes, long hours working outside of class, as well as other homework from additional non-art classes naturally breed more stress and less free time.
Jessie Thompson of the Evening Standard agrees, “the conditions that come with working in the arts […] can be precarious and very stressful.” Unreliable hours, along with the potential pressure of freelancing alongside other jobs means that even after college, the mental stress doesn’t necessarily go away.
Art students are also more frequently encouraged to incorporate personal experiences into their artwork. This can be especially difficult for students who have experienced trauma in the past or are currently experiencing trauma. Don’t hesitate to speak with professors if delving too personally into a piece is harmful to your mind or emotions.
You are not alone. Caring for your mental health does not sacrifice or sabotage your creativity.
Anxiety & College Students
The American Psychological Association found that “Anxiety is the top presenting concern among college students (41.6 percent), followed by depression (36.4 percent) and relationship problems (35.8 percent).” But how do you know when anxiety is a medical problem? Low, occasional levels of stress and anxiety are a part daily life in college, but this does not necessarily mean an anxiety disorder is present.
Anxiety disorders occur when anxiety interferes with daily life, halting your ability to function, and causing an immense amount of stress and fear. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) reports that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. today.
Symptoms to be aware of:
- Feelings of stress and apprehension
- Trouble concentrating
- Sweating and dizziness
- Shortness of breath
- Irregular heartbeat
- Muscle pain and tension
- Frequent upset stomach or diarrhea
Depression & College Students
Depression is the second leading health issue for students in college after anxiety. Not only does this impact students’ mental and emotional states, but it also makes strenuous academics and new social settings even more difficult to manage. A wide variety of life changes take place upon entering college, which causes students to be vulnerable to feelings of depression.
Symptoms to be aware of:
- Persistent feelings of sadness
- Disconnection from feelings, apathy
- Lack of interest
- Trouble focusing
- Body aches
- Remaining in bed
Chances are, someone you love faces the trials that come with depression. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “major depressive disorder affects approximately 17.3 million American adults, or about 7.1% of the U.S. population age 18 and older, in a given year,” yet “up to 80% of those treated for depression show an improvement in their symptoms generally within four to six weeks of beginning [treatment].” Depression is highly treatable with medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes—asking for help doesn’t have to be scary.
You don’t have to go through this alone. Try to take time for self-care, seek true friendships, and talk to people you trust – more often than not – they are struggling with similar things. Discover more college-centered resources.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, don’t hesitate to get help. Call 911, go to the nearest hospital, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
The national suicide prevention lifeline is a network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential, emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org.