College students have learned to adapt to large amounts of stress in spite of being constantly overwhelmed with never-ending loads of assignments and projects. However, their bodies aren’t meant to accommodate such high levels of anxiety.
According to the Counseling and Recovery Services of Oklahoma (CRSOK), mental health issues are not confined to disorders. Intense amounts of worry or stress can have potentially harmful, long-term effects on the human brain.
CRSOK is a local nonprofit that aims to help build better lives for people of all ages through mental health and substance abuse recovery services. Since its creation in 1982, this organization has tirelessly worked to combat the negative effects of poor mental health through various forms of counseling.
“Our goal is to empower individuals suffering from mental struggles so that they can live the life they most desire,” said Victoria Daniels, a Community Relations Intern for CRSOK. Daniels is a senior at Oral Roberts University who intends to pursue a master’s degree in Christian Counseling.
“They carry the same type of vision as ORU – they want to empower individuals on their own road to wellness,” said Daniels.
CRSOK is Oklahoma’s only community mental health center certified in providing trauma-informed care. According to its website, it helps to “create an environment of safety, identify and manage emotions, process loss and help clients create a future of growth and change.”
Similarly, ORU provides on-campus counseling to students who may be suffering from any mental struggles. These free services are not limited to any specific issue.
“We collaborate and work together with people suffering from various situations and respond in different ways to meet their needs, because everyone is different,” said Luis Jimenez, a Mental Health Therapist in ORU Counseling Services.
Jimenez indicated that college students are at the prime age for being diagnosed with such issues. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that one in five college age students experience depression, severe anxiety or some other psychological issue.
“Although mental illness is a global problem, many people are unaware that friends and family may be struggling with it. People often suffer in silence because they fear sharing personal struggles with friends and family,” CRSOK wrote in a recent press release. “Adverse experiences, suppressed over a long period of time, have a negative effect on mental health until they are treated and can affect people throughout their lifetime.”
Common warning signs of mental health include overwhelming fear, not eating, drastic mood changes, intense worry and gradual withdrawal from social situations.
To those suffering any of these symptoms, CRSOK provides affordable mental health assessments, diagnoses, medication management, therapy and wellness services.
Great efforts are being made to remedy this problem within the Tulsa area, and Daniels continues to adopt a positive perspective regarding the broader issue of mental health.
“To any ORU students – please know that we’re here to help you in difficult times,” she said. “You’re not alone at all.”