EDITORIAL: Halfway through, remember mental health matters


A CMU student walks up to a barricaded entrance to Foust Hall March 20 on campus.

Week 10: We’re all feeling it.

It’s that point in the semester when work is piling up, pressure is building and stress and anxiety are higher than ever. We’ve been through it before and we’ve always made it but, as students, we deserve the time and resources needed to care for our mental health.

After a year of learning from home, often with cameras off and mics muted, we were thrown back into the classroom to sit shoulder-to-shoulder with other coughing, runny-nosed students. Once again sharing air and space with people without knowing if the person next to us is vaccinated. 

According to the latest COVID-19 dashboard, 76% of students are vaccinated. That’s a high number, but it feels less like an accomplishment when we’re sitting in our classes wondering how many of those coughing students got their shot. 

Of course we need help. We are all still processing the collective trauma that was, and is, the COVID-19 pandemic and now, we’re doing it while attending classes like everything is normal again.

It’s not. 

Over the summer, the counseling center experienced an increase in the number of students seeking services due to the virtual options it offered. Since returning to campus, more and more students are seeking in-office and online help. The counseling center is facing the challenge of keeping up with the demand.

As a way to meet student’s needs, the center has introduced daily group therapy sessions. There is a general group, as well as groups for grief, family matters and anxiety. There are also workshops featuring art, journaling and everyone’s favorite therapy dogs. For those who aren’t interested in groups, there are 20 minute ‘Let’s Talk’ appointments, daily crisis appointments and self-help resources are available on the counseling center website.

We all feel exhausted and overwhelmed by this return to “normal.” We’re facing the stress of classes, jobs and other commitments, while coping with the worry about our health and the health of everyone close to us. 

We need to take advantage of the free resources available to students. Other than the counseling center, consider visiting the writing center and mathematics assistance center for help getting through class work. Visit the career development center for help with resumes and other career guidance.

This is not a normal semester. We are all struggling to make it through. We can help each other and we can help ourselves. 

We just have to take that first step. Take advantage of the services available to you. You are not alone.