Help is there for struggling students

With the holiday season approaching and the end of the semester coming to a close, many of us become absorbed in projects, tasks and plans that understandably have a way of occupying our full attention.

While many of us are extremely stressed and overwhelmed with all the things we have to do, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s going on around us.

It might not occur to us that with the change in season and with the added stressors this time of year brings, those around us might be having a hard time dealing with life.

Seasonal mood disorders affect 20 percent of the population of North America, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, while other mood disorders like major depression affect an estimated one in 10 adults in the U.S.

Stressors like finals at school and financial strain due to the holiday season are just a couple of the influences that can have a detrimental effect on a person who may already be struggling with some sort of mental distress. As Thanksgiving and Christmas draw nearer, so do familial strains that may lay dormant for the rest of the year.

And there’s no doubt that if someone is going through this, all of it may be lost on us even though the people we’re closest to — our loved ones, friends and family — could be suffering quietly, unnoticed and unsure of how to tell someone that they need help.

There is no reason, however, that anyone experiencing seasonal or chronic depression has to be alone. It’s our job to reach out to those people around us.

Be thoughtful and act intentionally over the next few months.

Take special care to tell the people in your life you’re there for them if they need anything at all. It’s easy to let ourselves become so busy and absorbed in our own affairs that we fail to notice what’s happening to those who surround us. For that reason, there’s a great deal of importance in remembering to remember the people around you.

And if you’re someone who needs help, you’re not alone. There are people who care and can help you. The first step in the healing process is realizing you’re in need of something, whether it’s just someone to listen to you or something more serious.

OCCC’s Student Support Services office offers students somewhere to turn to if they’re feeling a little blue, stressed, or something more serious.

Student Support Services affords students the opportunity to speak with licensed counselors who will help a student to determine what exactly is going on.

If the decision is made that a student might need to meet with someone outside of the college, Student Support Services can make appropriate referrals. The services offered by SSS are always free to OCCC students.

You aren’t alone.

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