College can be an exciting and exhilarating experience, but it can also be lonely, stressful, and overwhelming. It’s a time of new freedoms, but also of new pressures and expectations. If you are struggling with your mental health, know that you are not alone. According to a recent study from 2018, approximately 1/3 of college students are wrestling with mental illness. Luckily, there are all kinds of resources out there to help guide and support you.
The most common mental health issue college students face today is anxiety, but depression, relationship problems, suicidal thoughts, drug and alcohol use, and eating disorders are also common concerns. People with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder often experience their first symptoms in their late teens or early twenties. You might be surprised to hear just how common experiences of stress, anxiety, and mental illness are in college. Stanford University’s Resilience Project collects college students’ stories of personal experiences with failing classes, struggling with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and much more. You can watch their videos here.
College can also be a time for you to explore your sexual orientation, gender identity, or other aspects of who you are, which can lead to difficult decisions about how to navigate relationships with friends and family. The Trevor Project has a helpful guide if you’re thinking about coming out.
If you are dealing with any of these changes and challenges, your campus health center may be a good place to start. At many colleges and universities, the campus health center offers free or discounted counseling services, and many even have a stand-alone counseling center. Ask your health center, counseling center, or student affairs office about peer support groups as well.
Here is a list of some resources in the Pittsburgh area:
- Resolve Crisis Network
- 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
- Call 988
- Carlow University
- Counseling Services: https://www.carlow.edu/student-life/health-wellness/counseling-services/
- Phone number: 412-578-6474
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Counseling & Psychological Services: https://www.cmu.edu/counseling/
- 24/7 number: 412-268-2922
- CMU-recommended local resources: https://www.cmu.edu/counseling/resources/index.html
- Chatham University
- Counseling Center: https://chatham.edu/student-experience/health-wellness/index.html
- Phone number: 412-365-1282
- Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)
- Counseling Services: https://www.ccac.edu/student-support/counseling-services.php
- Phone number: 412-369-3614
- Duquesne University
- Counseling Services: https://www.duq.edu/life-at-duquesne/health-recreation-wellness/counseling-services/index.php
- Phone number: 412.396.6204
- Wellbeing Resources: https://www.duq.edu/academics/colleges-and-schools/law/student-life/wellness-resources.php
- La Roche University
- Counseling & Health Services: https://www.laroche.edu/student_life/counseling_and_health_services/
- Point Park University
- University Counseling Center: https://www.pointpark.edu/studentlife/healthandstudentservices/university-counseling-center/index
- Phone number: 412-392-3977
- Robert Morris University
- Counseling Center: https://www.rmu.edu/why-rmu/campus/counseling-center
- University of Pittsburgh
- University Counseling Center: https://www.studentaffairs.pitt.edu/cc/
- After-Hours Mental Health Crisis Response: 412-648-7930 x 1
- Sexual Assault Response: 412-648-7856
About JFCS Pittsburgh Youth Services
Jewish Family and Community Services (JFCS) Pittsburgh is committed to supporting youth and young adults achieve their goals and secure a strong future. For more information about education, workforce development, and mental health support services available, please call JFCS Youth Services at (412) 422-7200 or visit www.jfcspgh.org/youth-services.