EDITORIAL: Don't neglect your mental health this semester, reach out and get help

Winter is the worst time for mental health.

When the sun sometimes doesn't shine for days and the cold winter winds can make you want to stay in your bed all day, we are at our most susceptible for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or seasonal depression. It affects roughly 5 percent of the population.

That number only goes up the further north you go, according to a report by USA Today about seasonal depression on college campuses.

If you take a look outside right now, it's not hard to see why.

SAD affects your motivation — tasks that once came to you effortlessly might seem like a struggle. It affects your appetite, making you want to overload on carbohydrates that could affect weight gain. Worst of all, SAD can make you want to isolate yourself and avoid seeking help.

If this is you, know there are resources on campus to help.

The CMU Counseling Center is available on-campus for students in Foust Hall and is open Monday through Friday. You can make an appointment by calling 989-774-3381, or let them know if you need to been seen immediately — they will make room for you.

If you fear you need immediate counseling help, Listening Ear operates 24-hours a day and can be reached at 989-772-2918. For students with disabilities — hard of hearing, muteness or other auditory or verbal communication issues — the national Crisis Text Line is also available 24/7 by texting START to 741-741.

It can be hard to make that initial contact. But when in the grips of SAD, you're not thinking clearly and you can convince yourself nothing will get better.

But it will.

We want to make 2018 a year where each CMU student knows they are valued and wanted on campus. We want to make it to the end of this year with the same number of students as who started it. 

The first step is asking for help.

Make the call.