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More students seeking help in distress at DU, defying U.S statistics in survey

By Ariel Pennix
On April 13, 2018

NEW ORLEANS (April 13, 2018) – A national survey of college students struggling with mental health issues found that 64 percent of them end up withdrawing from school, but half of them never even tried college mental health services.

But a certified counselor at Dillard said the numbers seeking help here on campus are improving.

Megan Andry said more students are reaching out here; she said she and counselor Sherile Watts see about 20-30 students a week.

“That’s a high number. That’s pretty good between the both of us,” Andry said.

The 2012 survey by the National Alliance on Mental Health, or NAMI, also said some six out of 10 did not request accommodations from their school, and concern about stigma was the No. 1 reason students didn’t seek help. The top five problems that students face are depression, anxiety, suicide, eating disorders and addition.

At Dillard, Andry said she wouldn’t say students are afraid of seeking counseling, but the problem is that the idea of seeking counseling is not “ingrained” or part of their immediate thought process.

Then, the ones to seek help worry about others judging them, she said, “because we’ve been taught that you only go to counseling for severe mental health issues.”

Some signs students should look for when worried about mental health include when things feel off; relationships with others change; thought processes change; you become more negative or less motivated; and/or your personality shifts.

Students seeking help can visit the counselors in Dent Hall from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 5 p.m. on Fridays.

If students are uncomfortable about visiting the DU counselors here at Dillard, students can also visit outside sources such as Daughters of Charity behind the Student Union or Excelth 2050 Caton St. (504.620.9868). Money or insurance should not be an issue at Excelth, Andry said.

(Ariel Pennix contributed to this report.)

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