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Mental Health

  • What has been the biggest difference you have experienced or think you will experience from your last school to Clemson University?

  • Are the stressors you experience the same as before or different?

  • What are some ways you have been involved during the past few weeks here at Clemson? What are some things you may consider getting involved in this semester?

Academic Success Center

Peer Assisted Learning (PAL)

The Writing Center

Research and database help in the Cooper Library


Go to your instructor’s office hours! They are there to help you; it’s their job, and they will appreciate you putting forth the effort to ensure your own success. They can be some of the best connections you make during your time at Clemson University.

In 2016, 76 percent of all Clemson students reported that in the past 12 months, depression, stress and/or anxiety were factors that negatively affected their individual academic performance (NCHA, 2016).


Even though many college students experience stress, depression and anxiety, college students also utilize campus mental health services.


At Clemson University, 59 percent of students have received professional mental health care services and 78 percent of Clemson students would seek professional mental health care services if needed in the future (NCHA, 2016).


It is important to understand that experiencing stress is common and the majority of people will experience stress at some point in their life. It is also typical that people seek help for stress and mental health concerns. One in five U.S. adults will experience mental illness at some point in their lives whether it is stress, anxiety, depression or other mood disorders (CDC, 2011). This is why it is so important that you understand the resources on campus and the support system you have around you at Clemson University.


Because many students turn to campus resources for mental health care, it is important for you to know that Clemson University has one of the best student health centers in the country! Student Health Services (SHS), located in Redfern Health Center, is one of only 17 student health centers in the United States that is accredited by The Joint Commission. SHS offers counseling and psychological services to students who have paid the health fee at the beginning of the semester with tuition as well as comprehensive health services and support groups for all your health needs. Go check out the main SHS Web page to see all of the awesome resources they offer students!

It can sometimes be hard to tell the difference between an eating disorder and typical weight concerns or dieting. It doesn’t help that people with eating disorders often try to hide their behavior.


Signs of eating disorders are listed below:


  • Drastic weight change

  • Worried about body image

  • Mood changes or irritability

  • Abnormal or secretive eating disorders

  • Exercising more than is good for one’s health

  • Perfectionism2


Learn More About Eating Disorders


Where to Get Help on Campus: Eating Disorders Program Through Counseling and Psychological Services


Effective treatment for clients who have eating disorders involves a multidisciplinary approach where professionals from many health-related disciplines meet regularly with these clients. The treatment team at Redfern Health Center includes medical doctors, psychologists, nutritionists and counselors who meet weekly to coordinate the care of all clients who present with eating disorders and consent to medical, psychological and/or nutritional treatment. Services include individual and group psychotherapy, nutritional counseling and regular medical evaluations from professionals who have interest and/or expertise in working with eating disorders.


Learn More About the Eating Disorders Program Through CAPS

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

CAPS Online Mental Health Screening
File a CARE Report


2Eating Disorders - ULifeline. (n.d.). Retrieved from URL

Resilience or grit is the ability to overcome and draw strength from difficult situations.


The good thing about resiliency is that it has been conclusively shown to be a skill that everyone can learn, develop and practice.


  • Hanging on through a challenge

  • Learning from an experience

  • Strong relationships – getting involved on campus with people that are passionate about the same interests, causes and areas of study that you are; creating a support system here at Clemson

  • Seeing your current situation as a turning point – separate the past from the present; understand that after every set back is a chance to learn, grow and move forward towards success and happiness

  • Humor and realistic optimism – expecting a favorable outcome, being hopeful and positive in all aspects of life, and not dwelling and focusing on the negatives and unfavorable situations

  • Appropriate environmental supports

  • Negativity bias – bad experiences are more impactful than positive ones

  • Denial – difficulty accepting the event or experience

  • Victim mentality – “why does this always happen to me?”

  • Placing blame – on yourself or others

  • Comparing yourself to others – everyone is on their own path to success; just focus on becoming the best version of yourself

  • Avoidance – not talking about it and not seeking support

  • Supportive family and friends

  • Regular physical activity – any type of exercise/physical activity that you enjoy

  • Mindfulness meditation and/or faith based services – spiritual expressions/positive affirmations that fit who you are as an individual

  • Access to health care

  • Strong social relationships with positive peer influences and mentors

  • Characteristics including social skills, problem solving abilities, autonomy and sense of purpose

  • Community programs

Take a minute to write 1–2 strategies you plan to incorporate into your life that could build resilience when faced with stressful situations.

Stress usually shows up as an emotional or psychological state of tension, but it’s common to also physically “feel” stressed out because of the physiological and hormonal changes caused by stress. Here are some symptoms that indicate a high level of stress:


  • Changes in sleep patterns

  • Changes in eating patterns

  • Increased frequency of headaches

  • Being more irritable than usual

  • Recurring colds and minor illnesses

  • Frequent muscle aches and/or tightness

  • Being more disorganized than usual

  • Increased difficulty in getting things done

  • Greater sense of persistent time pressure

  • Increased frustration and anger3


Learn More About Stress

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
CAPS Online Mental Health Screening 
File a CARE Report


3Stress - ULifeline. (n.d.). Retrieved from URL

Signs of depression are listed below: 


  • Persistently sad, anxious, irritable or empty mood

  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities

  • Withdrawal from friends and family

  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much

  • Fatigue and decreased energy

  • Significant change in appetite and/or weight

  • Overreaction to criticisms

  • Feeling unable to meet expectations

  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions

  • Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness or guilt

  • Persistent physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive problems or chronic pain that do not respond to routine treatment

  • Substance abuse problems

  • Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts4


Learn More About Depression
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
CAPS Online Mental Health Screening
File a CARE Report


4Depression - ULifeline. (n.d.). Retrieved from URL

If you believe a person is at immediate risk to harm themselves or others, you must contact emergency services and get help.


More often than not, individuals who are contemplating suicide will give some warning of their intentions to a friend or family member. All suicide threats, gestures and attempts must be taken seriously. Here are some warning signs that a person may be at risk for suicide:          


  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live

  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself

  • Talking about being a burden to others

  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated

  • Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun

  • Having access to self-destructive means

  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs

  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly

  • Sleeping too little or too much

  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge

  • Displaying extreme mood swings


QPR, or “question, persuade, refer,” allows you to help an individual until expert care arrives. Just like in CPR you are not a heart surgeon, in QPR you are not a counselor but you do have the power and skillset to help an individual say safe.


Question

Have you ever worried that asking someone about suicide might cause it to happen? It’s not uncommon for a lot of us to worry about that, and even those of us who know better, still find ourselves feeling uncomfortable about asking directly when confronted with a person who is in crisis. The most commonly held myth regarding suicide is that talking about it will make it happen; however, the opposite is actually true. Bringing up the subject and discussing it is one of the most helpful things you can do, as it helps a person who is thinking about suicide feel understood and demonstrates that you understand the amount of suffering that the person is experiencing (Campus Connect, Syracuse University). The most important thing is to just ask. When you do ask, here are some things to remember:


  • Go ahead and ask

  • Ask open-ended questions

  • Be persistent

  • Be direct and specific; use words like suicide and killing yourself

  • Let the person talk and engage in active listening

  • Make sure you are somewhere private so they can speak freely

  • Be prepared - make sure you have resources (names and numbers) available to use then and there


Persuade

In this step, remember to


  • listen and give them your full attention,

  • don’t rush to judgment,

  • make sure to offer and emphasize hope in any form and

  • when they are finished speaking, then ask: “Will you go with me to get help?”


It is important to note that your willingness to listen can rekindle hope and make the difference.


Refer

On Clemson’s campus, you can refer and go with the person to CAPS, located in Refern Health Center.


If the individual discussed a plan with you, do not leave them alone. Again, go with them to CAPS and/or call 911.


For QPR to be effective, remember to also tell the person why you want them to live - I am there for you/on your side. You also want to get others involved, like friends and family, in addition to CAPS.


Don't be sworn to secrecy. Seek support. Offer hope that alternatives are available, but do not offer glib reassurance. Take action. If possible, remove means, such as guns or stockpiled pills.


Learn More About Suicide
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
*An after-hours CAPS counselor is available and can be reached by calling the Clemson University Police Department at 864-656-2222 and asking for the CAPS counselor on call.
CAPS Online Mental Health Screening
File a CARE Report
Emergency Contacts

When should you use the CARE Report, and when should you call 911 and the police for depression/suicidal thoughts?


  • If you think there could be a threat of harm to self or others, please call 911 immediately.


While students on Clemson’s campus deal with many challenging situations every day, the CARE Network is designed to track those incidents that are deemed “critical” and/or which may indicate unusual or harmful student behavior or trends. This includes but is not limited to


  • any arrest;

  • any judicial incident;

  • the death of a family member, friend, fellow student or other individual in the student’s life;

  • any unusual, threatening or otherwise troubling behavior by the student directed towards themselves or others;

  • any wellness issue that is of immediate or serious nature including emergency hospitalizations, life-threatening illnesses, alleged assaults, acute injuries, etc.;

  • any critical incident or unusual behavior reported by a member of the University community that may be helpful for tracking and follow up (i.e. excessive absence in classes, excessive sleeping or changing habits, etc.);

  • any unusual, harmful or critical situation that happens to a Clemson University student and is not listed above.

 

Student Health Services

 

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) 

CAPS is located in Redfern Health Center and is the University's only facility for personal counseling, psychological testing, outreach and consultation. An after-hours CAPS counselor is available and can be reached at 864-656-2222.


Clemson University Police Department (CUPD) 

864-656-2222


Tigers Together to Stop Suicide 


Mental Health America Greenville Crisis Line 

864-271-8888


Crisis Text Line 

Text “Tigers” to 741-741. Free, Confidential, 24/7


Suicide Prevention Lifeline 

1-800-273-TALK


Office of Advocacy and Success


my.Clemson App


Ombudsman  

An ombudsman is an independent, informal, neutral and confidential resource who provides assistance to members of the University community in exploring options to resolve problems, complaints and conflicts when normal processes and procedures have not worked satisfactorily.


LGBTQ Task Force


Sexuality and Gender Alliance


Student Veteran Resource Center


Student Accessibility Services


ULifeline 

ULifelineis an online resource for college mental health.


Additional Resources on Mental Health

Although not intended to give a definite diagnosis, screening tools for mental health can increase self-understanding and improve well-being. Below is a link to an anonymous, online screening for depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders and alcohol use issues.  


TAKE SCREENING NOW

Mental Health


Resources
Bystander Intervention
Interpersonal Violence

Alcohol and Other Drugs
Mental Health
Wellness