Don't forget your mental health in finals week

BY ANNA FRIEDRICHSEN | Guest Contributor | One in four college students suffers from a mental illness, according to nearly every study done on the issue.

With that statistic in mind, a class of 30 students suggests that seven students are dealing with depression, anxiety, OCD or another form of mental illness. Many of these students are undiagnosed and taking a toll from the very thing they didn’t ask for and can’t control on their own.

HBO’s animated film “My Depression” was screened on April 21 at UMD and featured a panel discussion afterwards. Panel members included Health Services staff, professors, students, and a psychiatrist, all familiar and knowledgeable of mental illness.

The film depicted Elizabeth Swados, a Broadway composer, and her journey of coming to terms with her depression.

After the film the panel took questions and gave helpful solutions to cope with mental illness.

Students were encouraged to take care of themselves, which meant getting enough sleep regardless of whether or not assignments are done. One person used a cut off method, in which he stopped doing homework at 7 p.m. in order to have time for himself and has benefited greatly from it.

Talking with professors about what’s going on may also be useful if mental illness is overwhelming and making assignments unmanageable. This can be done with the help of Disability Services.

Finding the right person to talk to was highlighted as a necessary challenge. Several of the panel members said it took multiple therapists for them to find one that they felt comfortable and worked well with.

What happened and what was said during the film and panel is for those who attended, but the message is important for all Bulldogs to understand.

The reality is that too many UMD students are suffering and far too immensely. Luckily, UMD has incredible services to help those struggling with mental illness and stress. While these services often go unused and are overlooked, they are there and can help greatly.

End-of-the-year schoolwork is stressful enough as it is. Stop by Health Services or Disability Resources to get help, more information and guidance of what’s available for a college student dealing with mental illness.

For more information on Health Services, visit: For more information on Disability Resources, visit:

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