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Mental health and addiction needs more talk

Photo credit: Genessa Gutzait · The Sentry

Demi Lovato’s overdose sparks up conversation

With recent news of Demi Lovato being rushed to the hospital due to an overdose, there is a lesson to be learned here. It is said that over 50 percent of people who have a substance abuse problem at some point in their life had a mental health disorder. Not only are most people diagnosed with mental health problems, but it is found that over 50 percent of those with a lifetime mental health disorder may have a lifetime of substance abuse problems. 

In the past, Lovato has spoken openly about her issues with depression, bipolar disorder, addiction, substance abuse, and eating disorders. All of which could have been a factor as to why Demi Lovato overdosed and was rushed to the hospital. And while this may be a hard time for Lovato and her family, the recent event can help others, like students and professors, to notice the signs of a mental health issues. 

Much of the time, people with mental health issues let everything they have going on in their lives take control and don’t take a moment to themselves to make sure their mental health is on track. But lucky enough for students, there are resources on campus if a student needs help.

In a survey done by the American Psychological Association, it was found that anxiety is the top presenting concern for college students at 41.6 percent followed by depression at 36.4 percent, which theoretically means that only 22 percent answered that they did not suffer from depression or anxiety. The study also reported that 24.5 percent were taking medications for mental health issues, but 19 percent of directors reported that the “availability of psychiatric services on their campuses is inadequate.” When tensions for study sessions and stress from everyday life start to bubble up, it’s important to know what resources are available. 

Many students may not know that there is a Community Counseling Center on the Auraria campus located in Tivoli #454. Services offered include counseling, groups and workshops, crisis walk-in, testing services, and a relaxation room. Counseling services are all free for CU Denver students and include individual counseling, children and adolescent counseling, family counseling, and couples counseling. Groups offered include a harm reduction support group as well as weekly wellness workshops that are free and offered every Wednesday. The Counseling Center also offers immediate help for students through the crisis walk-in services. Or for those who would like to be tested for learning disabilities, ADHD, or mental disorders/mental health issues, they provide those services as well. But if someone is just looking to unwind, the relaxation room offers massages, meditation cushions, prayer rugs, and a biofeedback program. 

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