UIUC Students continue to face mental health challenges amidst a difficult semester

Local News

CHAMPAIGN, Ill (WCIA)– Heavy workloads, uncertainty and isolation have made this one of the toughest semesters for students on campus.

It’s put many university students in a challenging situation, who are trying to maintain their grades without letting stress overwhelm them. One student says she’s been able to manage by just worrying about what she can control.

“Even though things aren’t going to plan, that’s okay,” Missy Carroll said. “That’s just life. My motto is that life just happens… And we can find a plan.”

The Counseling Center is the university’s best resource for students struggling with mental health.
Director Carla McCowan says she’s seen a gradual increase in anxiety and depression among students over the years, and additional funding for resources, in the form of counselors and outreach to students, is critical for supporting their health.

“We know there’s a need,” she said. “So providing additional resources in my mind… Absolutely.”

Students are also taking up the task of looking after one another. The Students for Mental Health is a new student-run group on campus, using text messages and social media to console other students. One of its organizers, Sarena Abdallah says they want to get students to a point where they’re comfortable enough to talk about their mental health problems.

“For a lot of people, it might be a sign of weakness or a sign of failure but, it genuinely isn’t,” Abdallah said. “Students should know that when you need the help, you should reach out and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

Anyone who is struggling with their own mental health is encouraged to reach out to one of these resources.

  • Rosecrance Health Network: 888-928-5278
    Free classes for families, virtual assessments, counseling, a Parent Cafe, webinars and more.
  • Illinois Call4Calm Text Line
    Text TALK to 552020 for English or HABLAR for Spanish
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • More services at IDHS
  • Text HOME to 741741 for Counseling via Text
  • University of Illinois Counseling Center: 217-333-3704
  • For students interested in being a part of Students For Mental health, email jrojas38@illinois.edu

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