Mental Health Fair Scheduled at OTC

Posted on May 06, 2019 at 13:52 PM



May is Mental Health Awareness Month and the Ogeechee Technical College Counseling Department is celebrating by hosting a Mental Health Resource Fair.  According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experience mental illness in a given year.”  In reference to young adults, “two out of three students with anxiety or depression don’t seek treatment” (Active Minds), in addition, anxiety disorders are the most common presenting concerns on college campuses (Anxiety and Depression Association of America).  

“My goal for May is to bring resources to campus that may be utilized by students, faculty, and staff for the purpose of reducing mental illnesses by increasing awareness,” stated Nolie Burns, OTC Counseling and Retention Coordinator.  According to Burns, mental health is often overlooked because often negative stigma is placed on the concept of receiving professional help to deal with one’s thoughts, emotions, feelings, and unfortunate life events.  “Assessing mental health is just as important as receiving yearly physicals with your primary care physician.  Many times the daily stress that one experiences, if left unchecked, can produce anxiety that later progresses into depression,” Burns stated.  “As I consider our students, I realize that they have so many things fighting for their attention, such as educational burdens, pressure from family, employment, financial strain, and relationship concerns, that it can be difficult to stay focused in school and difficult to maintain good mental health,” she continued.  Burns gave an example of an issue that may make it difficult for a student: a student who is experiencing financial instability and cannot afford their apartment any longer may suffer from a shortened attention span, resulting in lower grades, and an increase in anxiety as they struggle to resolve their concerns and maintain balance in their life.  

“Campus and community resources have been compiled which may help reduce the amount of stress that students feel each day, while keeping them motivated to complete their coursework at OTC,” said Burns.  The Mental Health Resource Fair will be held on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 from 9:00am to 12:30pm in OTC’s Occupational Studies River Room. Students are encouraged to come out and learn about OTC Counseling Services and other support services.  Scheduled for the event are OTC’s Disability Services and Academic Enrichment Center, and local counseling agencies, Bulloch Recovery, Concerted Services, Safe Haven, Statesboro Regional Sexual Assault Center, and GSU Psychology Clinic.  In addition, Baylee, the Vet Tech therapy dog-in-training, will be in the building giving out hugs from 10am-12pm!  Students, as well as OTC employees, are encouraged to come and learn more about available resources in Bulloch and surrounding counties.



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