Breaking the stigma: Resources and tips during Suicide Prevention Month
As the semester gets busier, it's important to take a moment to check in on your mental and emotional well-being. Emotional highs and lows are a normal part of life, regardless of your background or identity. However, if you find yourself experiencing prolonged periods of sadness, depression, or anxiety, it's essential to seek help and support. Remember that you’re not alone. There is always hope and resources available to you. Don't hesitate to reach out to loved ones or professionals for assistance. There are many resources available here at ASU that can help (see “helpful resources” below).
Stick to a routine
With a new semester underway, you may feel an inevitable longing for familiarity. Whether you’ve traveled overseas to join us at ASU or are acclimated to a calmer summer schedule, getting back into the flow could cause emotional hurdles. If you’re feeling down or overwhelmed about changes and expectations, establishing a solid routine could help. Prioritize getting sleep, working out, tuning out with some music or journaling your thoughts. Practice focused self-care for a few weeks and fine-tune it as you go so that it fits your fall schedule.
Make time for fun
While school and work-related obligations are high-priority and may require much of your focus, taking breaks and having fun are equally important. Not making time for friends or yourself can impact your mental health. Combat this by designating even 30 minutes daily to be alone and decompress. If you spend too much time solo, plan to meet with friends to blow off steam. If work is demanding, utilize your health leave and vacation time — your tasks will be there when you return!
How do you spot if someone is struggling?
You may be in good spirits as the school year commences, but a friend or colleague could struggle to acclimate or have mounting issues in their personal life. Signs of mental distress include unexplained absences from class or work, an unusually disheveled appearance, a consistent lack of interest in things or a feeling of hopelessness. It’s okay to initiate a conversation and ask if they are all right. You know your friends best; it doesn’t hurt to check in with them if something seems off. If the situation warrants, connect them to ASU resources. Remember that although you can lend a helping hand, it isn’t your responsibility to solve the problem. A simple inquiry can make a difference in someone’s life!
If you’re ever feeling down, remember that it is a typical experience to feel that way occasionally. Discussing your mental health and asking about the mental health of those you care about is a good practice to adopt. Luckily, as a society, we are moving away from harmful stigmatization around wellness and the notion that problems must be kept a secret. If you want to connect to a professional who can help you through tough times, ASU’s Educational Outreach and Student Services offers support, including individual counseling, family resources and career development.
- ASU Counseling Services provides counseling support for Sun Devils at no cost.
- Open Call and Open Chat: Connect with emotional health and well-being support 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, from anywhere in the world. For more information and to create your account, visit eoss.asu.edu/counseling/open-call-and-open-chat.
- In-person and telehealth appointments: Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., schedule through your My Health Portal or call 480-965-6146.
- ASU’s dedicated crisis line through EMPACT: 24/7, immediate availability, call 480-921-1006.
- The Daily Devil Blog, written by ASU students, also has some great resources related to well-being and self-care.
- Devils 4 Devils, Offering Help page provides a roadmap for how to check in on a friend.