OPINION | Students need to mind mental health

Recently, the Butler University community has seen statistics on both sexual behavior and mental health.
Together, they paint a surprising and saddening picture.
Of sexually-active students, contraceptive use is very infrequent.
And in more recent statistics, Butler students confessed in large numbers to feeling overwhelmed and even hopeless.
While no one can say for certain what the link between these might be, the statistics indicate a definite risk for recklessness.
Over 40 percent of both men and women who were respondents indicated they have felt hopeless.
Students have resources all around them.
The counseling service on campus is free for students.
Contraceptives are free through some events (including those sponsored by Demia) and also for purchase in the Apartment Village Dawghouse and C-Club.
Students need to recognize that actions they take here can have long-term consequences.
They also should do their best to take care of themselves.
Feeling of hopelessness and being overwhelmed are serious.
And Butler students do not have to face these feelings alone.
Meeting with one of the counselors at the HRC could not hurt.
College students are particularly busy and exposed to sleep deprivation, odd nutrition and complex relationships.
Some of these conditions are unavoidable, but it would hardly be college if these were all in balance.
But students need to seek out healthy outlets, as well.
Part of this response means the community should consider having a conversation about mental health.
People frequently describe various mental health issues as made up or whining.
But mental health issues are not something we democratically validate.
Depression is as real as the flu.
Not everyone who feels hopeless is depressed.
But college students put themselves through tons of stress.
They go to new living environments, work on short schedules and coordinate finances.
So they should take stress and mental health as seriously as they take exercising, eating and passing class.