Addressing the Topic of Mental Health and Depression is Important
We encourage our ASU community to talk about mental illness, distress and suicide. By bringing these topics into open discussion, we make it easier to recognize the signs of someone struggling and can learn to take effective action to support the well-being of our friends, roommates, classmates and others.
Mental health is how a person thinks, feels, and acts when faced with life's situations. This includes handling stress, relating to other people, and making decisions.
Feelings of sadness, emptiness, worthlessness and/or loneliness are normal responses to overwhelming or difficult experiences. Depression is characterized by these feelings lasting and/or not improving after a few weeks.
People who are experiencing distress have trouble managing their feelings or coping with the stress of their situation. They may have trouble functioning or lack the desire to fulfill their daily responsibilities.
Signs of Distress
- Noticeable changes in behavior or routine, such as sleeping and eating patterns
- Mood changes
- Disconnecting from others
- Substance use patterns
- Engaging in behaviors that jeopardize health and safety
Suicide Risk Factors
- Sense of isolation
- Lack of close personal relationships
- Poor coping skills
- Mental illness (most commonly depression)
- Substance abuse
Factors that Protect People from Suicide
- Close personal relationships
- Strong connections to community and family
- Problem solving and conflict resolution skills
- Accessible and effective clinical care for mental, physical and substance use disorders
- Healthy behaviors such as adequate sleep, healthy eating, and physical activities
Help is available
If you or someone you know is having trouble managing their feelings, coping, depressed or distressed, help is available. Talking to a trusted friend or family member, an ASU Counselor or health care provider, a Community Assistant, or other member of the ASU community can be a good start toward feeling and doing better.
Source: Frequently asked Questions about Suicide. National Institute of Mental Health.