In a day and age where the economy is suffering and people are losing jobs and focus, college students are struggling with managing stress more and more.
According to the College Health Association, 25 percent of college students reported that they have felt “so depressed that it was difficult to function.” The report also showed that 21 percent said they considered suicide before.
FAMU assistant psychology professor, Jermaine Robertson said 50 percent of all college students dropout because of mental and emotional issues.
Depression is a serious medical condition that affects the body, mood and thoughts.
It affects the way one eats, sleeps, thinks and even their self-perception.
Allison Lockard, a counselor at Sunshine Manor, said symptoms like withdrawal from family and friends, weight loss or gain and lack of academic concern are all associated with depression.
Depression in the black community is one of the most taboo subjects.
Although it affects a great deal of blacks, many of them choose to not to talk about it.
“African Americans would rather attend church than seek professional help,” said Yolanda Bogan, the director of Florida A&M University’s counseling services located at Sunshine Manor.
Bogan said the Sunshine Manor offers 12 free counseling sessions per semester for all students.
Group therapy, one-on-one sessions and couples counseling are available.
There is a licensed psychiatrist accessible by appointment only once a week.
“The counseling center’s goal is to help students reflect on strategies and skills to help them be who they want to be,” Bogan said.
For more information on mental illness, contact the Office of Counseling Services at (850) 599-3145 or www.famu.edu/counseling.