Butler stresses out, study shows

The results on mental health from the National College Health Assessment Survey offered to Butler students last spring are being used to help plan programming and outreach.

The survey had 436 respondents—69.7 percent female and 29.4 percent male.

The survey’s mental health questions asked if students felt a certain way within the last 12  months.

Eighty-seven-point-five percent of males and 94.4 percent of females answered that they had felt overwhelmed by all they had to do in general.

Sarah Barnes Diaz, health education and outreach programs coordinator, said this number may be a result of students at Butler being involved in clubs and organizations and holding on-campus jobs while also having demanding academics.

Things such as sleep, nutrition and relationships can impact a person’s mental health as well, Diaz said.

Fifty-one-point-six percent of males and 56.6 percent of females felt overwhelming anxiety at the time of the survey.

Another statistic from the survey reports that 40.2 percent of males and 51.5 percent of females felt hopeless.

Diaz said the survey’s results are very important.

“We really try and use our data, so when students take surveys, it’s not like we just get the numbers and they go in a drawer,” Diaz said. “We really try to focus our programming efforts and outreach efforts based on what types of things students are telling us they need or we’re seeing that they need.”

Freshman Robyn Justum said the beginning of the semester has been crazy between joining a sorority, participating in hall government and balancing academics.

“At times, it’s been, ‘Oh my gosh, so much to do,’” Justum said.

Justum relieves stress by doing pilates, chatting with people at Starbucks, reading and listening to music. Also, she said she organizes her thoughts and cleans her room to prevent feeling overwhelmed.

One of the ways Diaz thinks students can improve mental health is having a good listener.

“Sometimes we just need somebody to stop and listen so that we can feel supported and feel heard, and that is why we have a great counseling center,” Diaz said.

Counseling and Consultation Services is located in the Health and Recreation Complex and offers licensed staff for group or individual counseling.

Students can set up an appointment and will be advised on what type of counseling would be best for them.

Shana Markle, associate director of Counseling and Consultation Services, said counseling services are available for all students at Butler. Markle said the most important piece of information she would like students to know is that the services are free and confidential.

“There is no problem too small,” Markle said.

Students can contact  counseling services by calling the office to make an appointment.

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