CWRU signage outside of Adelbert Hall in fall

Campus marks mental health week

Stress is everywhere these days.

Type the word into Google News search and 189 million links appear.

Ask Amazon for books about stress published in the past 90 days, and more than 30,000 titles emerge.

Poll people in the U.S. if they felt “a lot of stress” the previous day (as Gallup did), and 55 percent answer in the affirmative. That 2018 tally is 6 points higher than the previous year, 20 points higher than the global average, and—perhaps most striking—matches the numbers for Iran, Albania and Sri Lanka.

As daunting as those data points are, figures for young adults are even more worrisome. Consider just one example: between 2009 and 2017, the rate of 18 to 25 year olds reporting symptoms of major depression in the past 30 days climbed by 71 percent.

These and other trends have inspired several campus offices to enhance and expand services that support members of the university community. As mental health week begins nationwide, they are encouraging faculty, staff and students to embrace “culture of care” among one another—an effort that has President Barbara R. Snyder’s strong support.

“One of our university’s most appealing characteristics is its members’ intense pursuit of knowledge and understanding,” President Snyder said. “Yet the success and sustainability of those endeavors also requires rest, recovery and recognition that seeking help is not a sign of weakness—but of strength.”

Enrollments in the university wellness program’s stress management offerings indicate that many faculty and staff already do. Offerings on such subjects as mindfulness, meditation, and building connection regularly reach full capacity, and anyone who’s seen the summer lunchtime crowds for Yoga in the Quad know the popularity of those activities. For those who feel individual counseling—on any topic, including stress along with depression or anxiety—the university offers up to five free sessions through Impact Solutions; to learn more about the services this external provider offers, call 1.800.227.6007.

University Health and Counseling Services (UHCS) offers a broad range of programs for undergraduate, graduate and professional students—including some in cooperation with other university offices. This week marks the launch of the year’s Wellness Wednesdays, a free noon-time collaboration (including lunch) between UHCS and the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Learn more about the first session, “Healthy Sleep Habits,” and register. UHCS is also offering biweekly Wellness Workshops; the first is this Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. and focuses on personal values—get more information about the event.

UHCS also offers free walk-in counseling sessions during their weekday hours of operation, as well as 24/7 access to a counselor on call at 216.368.5872. More information is available online. The office also is available to consult with faculty, staff or students seeking guidance about how to help another person experiencing difficult times; learn more about the service.