My Turn, Jackie Harris: Mental health matters to us all, so call if you need help

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 10, 2022

Last Thursday, N.C. State University decided to suspend classes for their students. You may ask why. Their management team felt it was important to give them a mental health day. Since school started in late August, three students have committed suicide. That’s hree too many.

The suicide rate for college students is reportedly 7 per 100,000 or approximately 1,100 individuals annually. Suicide is the second most common reason for death among college students and 25% of us know of someone who has died as a result of suicide, with 40% knowing of someone who has attempted suicide.

The suicide rate among young adults ages 15–24 has tripled since the 1950s. These are staggering numbers and way too high.

As many as one in three college students are suffering from depression (twice as many as in 2019), and even more have anxiety disorders (1.5 times as many as in 2019). Yet even though it has been known for more than a year that rates of mental illness have soared, waiting times to see professional mental health care providers are still unacceptably long, from weeks to months.

Thanks to the support of Rowan County United Way, One Love Community Programs is here to help. Their monetary gift allows us to treat anyone in Rowan County without any type of insurance by one of our therapists. No one will receive a bill if unable to pay.

Our staff takes an integrated approach when serving a client. Our case manager works one on one helping with jobs, food, etc. We provide free transportation to and from our clinic.

The Rowan County United Way Campaign is close to ending and we need your support. If you have given, thank you so much. If you have not, please consider a donation today. Call 704-633-1802 for information. Help us continue to serve those in need of our services.

Mental health affects your quality of life. Treatment can increase self-esteem and help manage emotions. It affects how we think, feel, and act.

If anyone needs assistance, please call us at 980-330-7000.

Mental health matters.

Jackie Harris retired as associate director for Rowan County United Way  and is public relations/development director of One Love Community Programs.