MENTAL HEALTH SCREENINGS
The Counseling and Prevention Resource Center (CPRC) is thankful to be able to offer free and anonymous mental health screenings through the Mental Health America (MHA) website. Nine of the screens for mental health conditions include: depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), alcohol and substance use, early psychosis, work health, and depression and anxiety in Spanish, etc.
The goal of MHA, is to assist individuals in becoming aware of their mental health as a way to promote recovery and reduce the time of untreated mental health problems. MHA’s Screening to Supports (S2S) program is an interactive online space for individuals to find tools they can use after screening to better their mental health. S2S provides customized results, drawing from resources in each of four domains: information and resources (“Learn”); information about referrals to care, services, and supports (“Treatment and Help”); do-it-yourself tools (“DIY”); and online engagement with peers (“Connect”). This website includes valuable information pertaining to mental health professionals and treatments in their “Find Help” section.
Once you have completed a screen, you are welcome to print or email the results to yourself or a provider, and then review all of the helpful resources on the MHA website. If you would like to send your results to the CPRC to review together with the mental health counselor, feel free to email: [email protected]. For a confidential review, feel free to print your results and bring them with you to an appointment at the CPRC. Appointments may be scheduled through the Client Portal at: https://cprc.clientsecure.me.
MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA - LIFE ON CAMPUS
Mental Health America (MHA) also has a Life on Campus page with helpful information such as: Balancing Work and School, How to Deal with Homesickness in College, How to Deal with Roommate Problems, How to Handle the Stress of Planning your Future, and How to Talk to your Professor about your Mental Health, etc.!
SET TO GO
Your guide to the transition from high school to college and adulthood. A new program that guides students, families and high school educators through the social, emotional and mental health challenges related to this transition. This includes a section on “How to Adjust to College” with helpful topics such as: The Importance of Sleep, Ways to Get and Stay Active on Campus, Healthy Eating on Campus, Getting Involved, Feeling Lonely, Dealing with Homesickness, Roommate Communication Tips, etc.!
This website contains college study tips, tricks, skills and guides to help you manage your time, take better notes, study more effectively, improve memory, take tests and handle the stresses of college life.
COLLEGE HEALTH & SAFETY
This website contains tips and information in order to help you stay safe and healthy in college.
MENTAL HEALTH MYTHS VS FACTS
Watching a friend, student or family member struggle with emotional problems can be challenging and frightening. You may wonder, “How can I tell if this is really serious?” “How can I best help my friend?” or “What will the college do in a situation like this?” Following is some information about common misperceptions about mental health and suicide, signs that someone is experiencing a crisis, ways to help, and campus resources. (Adapted from Cornell College: Counseling – Concerned about Friend).
MYTH: People who talk about suicide won’t actually attempt suicide.
FACT: 70-75% of people who attempt or commit suicide give some verbal or non-verbal clue about their intentions. Some signs someone may be thinking about suicide include:
- Direct references to thoughts of suicide or death (“I wish I were dead”, “Everyone is/would be better off without me”).
- Statements of intent or plans to attempt suicide.
- Obtaining weapons or other means of committing suicide.
- Giving away possessions.
- Saying good-bye.
- Vague references to unusual thoughts (“I’ve been having stupid thoughts,” etc.).
- Depression, or symptoms of depression.
- Expressions of despair and hopelessness (“I don’t think things will get better”, “I don’t know if I can do this anymore”, “Life is pointless”).
- Erratic attendance or neglect of usual responsibilities such as going to class or work.
- Neglecting hygiene, appearance, or necessary functions such as eating and sleeping.
- Withdrawal or isolation from social relationships and/or activities.
- Extreme mood swings or changes in personality.
- Impulsivity and/or violence.
MYTH: Asking someone if they are considering suicide might put that thought into their head.
FACT: Asking someone about suicide is not going to give them the idea if they haven’t already been thinking about it. In fact, asking directly lets that person know that you are willing to hear about their pain and to help them.
MYTH: Once people start thinking or talking about suicide, there’s no way to stop them.
FACT: People who consider suicide don’t generally want to die – they just want their pain to stop.
MYTH: There is no connection between suicide and alcohol use.
FACT: Use of alcohol (or other drugs) can increase someone’s impulsivity while decreasing their inhibitions and ability to think rationally. People who are drinking during or in response to an emotional crisis may be at greater risk for suicidal or other risky acts.
MYTH: The college kicks out students who have made suicide attempts.
FACT: Any time a student is a serious risk to themselves or others, including if a student has attempted suicide, the college’s first concern is to be sure that the student is safe, not to kick them out of school. In many cases, the college may require documentation from a health professional who has evaluated the student to assess the student’s readiness to be in the academic environment and give recommendations for how the college can best support the student. In the vast majority of cases, the college is going to work with that student to help get back on track academically and to make sure that a good support network and safety plan are in place.
HOW TO HELP
At times we may find ourselves concerned for a student and/or friend; and many times, are unsure of what to do or how to help. Below are some resources to assist, and/or an appointment can be scheduled at the IHCC Counseling and Prevention Resource Center (CPRC) for support, by going to: https://cprc.clientsecure.me. Feel free to email [email protected] or call 641-683-5152 with questions. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) available 24/7 365.
How can I tell if someone is experiencing a crisis or might be suicidal?
Some signs that someone may be experiencing general emotional distress or in crisis include:
- Change in behavior, mood
- Change in appearance, hygiene
- Change in sleeping or eating
- Change in substance use
- Change in work and/or school attendance and/or completion
- Isolation/withdrawal from friends, family
- Talking about suicide or being preoccupied with thoughts about death
If you think a friend may be thinking about suicide you can:
- Approach your friend directly, at a time when you can speak in private, and say you are concerned/worried (“I’m concerned about you. If something is wrong, I’d like to help.”)
- Give specific examples of their words and behaviors that you’re concerned about (“I’ve noticed you haven’t sat with us at lunch for the last several days.”)
- Invite them to talk about it (“Would you like to talk about what’s going on?” “Are you ok?”). Then listen openly, without judgment or opinion, to what they have to say.
- Remind them that depression, suicidal thoughts, and other mental health concerns are treatable. A great resource is the IHCC Counseling and Prevention Resource Center (CPRC) – they offer free, crisis services and/or short-term counseling, and have information to help refer students who may need or want services off-campus.
- You can also share about the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255; suicidepreventionlifeline.org) and call with them if they prefer.
What should I ask someone if I think they might be suicidal?
- Ask directly if they are considering killing themselves. Ask more than once if the answer is unclear. (e.g., “Have you thought of not wanting to live anymore?” “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” “Have you thought about how you would do it?”)
- Ask them if they have a plan for how/when they will attempt suicide.
- Ask if they have the means.
- Ask if they have taken any steps toward implementing their plan.
What should I do if the person says “yes”?
First, take any expressed suicidal intent seriously. If the person says they’re thinking of killing themselves, and especially if they have a specific plan and a means of doing so, the best thing you can do for them is to get help. Let them know you are calling for help and elicit their cooperation if possible. If you suspect the person may be suicidal but they are being vague or refusing to discuss it, it’s better to get help to be on the safe side. The quickest way to get help on campus is to call Campus Security at 641-683-5300. Campus Security will be able to contact the CPRC and/or on-call mental health professional. Do not wait to get support or leave the person alone.
What are some things to avoid doing?
There are a few things that aren’t so helpful when a friend is in crisis. Some things not to do include:
- Don’t act like you have all the answers or offer clichés or simple advice (e.g., “Don’t worry, be happy”, “What you should do is…”).
- Don’t promise to keep secrets – if someone says they will talk to you about an issue “only if you promise not to tell anyone,” it’s important to be up front in saying you cannot make that promise because you care about them and want them to get any help that they may need. Their life is most important. You don’t want to keep a secret and regret it.
- Don’t act shocked by what someone tells you.
- Don’t assume the situation will resolve itself and not take action.
- If someone is expressing thoughts of suicide, do not leave them alone to the best of your ability. For example, ask someone else to make a call for help or sit with them while you call for assistance.
What should I do if I’m worried about someone and just not sure how to respond?
Staff at the CPRC are available to consult with members of the IHCC community. Feel free to email [email protected], call 641-683-5152 or schedule an appointment at: https://cprc.clientsecure.me anytime. They can talk with you about what you’re observing, strategies for responding, and specific resources to share. You can also complete the Early Alert Form below, which may enlist the help and support of others who have connections to that student, such as a resident assistant, hall director or coach.
In addition to the above, if you are concerned by a friend’s Facebook posting, there are other ways to report and support a friend online. Check out this video from Facebook to learn more.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK); www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
- Crisis Text Line: 741741; crisistextline.org
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE; thehotline.org
- National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE; rainn.org
- The Trevor Project Lifeline: 1-866-488-7386; thetrevorproject.org
- Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, text 838255, veteranscrisisline.net
- IDPH Your Life Iowa: 1-855-581-8111, text 1-855-895-8398, www.yourlifeiowa.org
IDONTMIND is a mental health awareness campaign working to defeat the stigma around mental illness, with the goal to get people talking about their minds and to generate positive messaging about mental health. This website includes information on specific mental health problems, as well as additional articles such as: The Stress of College Can Weigh Heavily on Your Mind, 5 Reasons Why It’s Healthy to Cry, 6 Ways to Feel Less Lonely, and Why You Shouldn’t Wait Until Your World is Falling Apart to go to Therapy, etc.!
SEIZE THE AWKWARD
This national campaign encourages individuals to “seize the awkward” by reaching out to a friend who may be struggling with mental health problems. This includes a “Having a Conversation” section with topics such as: Learn the Signs, Starting the Conversation, During the Conversation, and After the Conversation.
HALF OF US
Mental health issues are a reality for millions of people across the country. Young people are especially at risk, with half of college students reporting that they have been stressed to a point where they couldn’t function during the past year. The impact of mental illness is so devastating that suicide is the third leading cause of death among all people ages 15 – 24. The good news is that nearly all mental health issues can be improved with proper treatment. When we decrease the stigma around mental health and encourage help-seeking, we can change and save lives. The aim of this website is to initiate a public dialogue to raise awareness about the prevalence of mental health issues and connect students to the appropriate resources to get help.
LOVE IS LOUDER
How will you STAY TODAY? Love is louder than the distance between us.
Right now, many of us are struggling with increased levels of anxiety, sadness, fear and uncertainty due to the COVID-19 crisis, news of violence and tragedy, political tensions and difficult – but critical – conversations about racism. Many people are practicing physical distancing and staying safe during a time when we need connection and support more than ever. Taking care of our mental health and supporting each other helps us cope with stress and anxiety while protecting our immune systems and physical health. Explore this website for simple things we can do to take care of our emotional health, cope with the challenges we are facing, stay safe and healthy, and look out for each other.
MINDWISE - ACT
ACT: Acknowledge that you see signs of depression or suicide in a friend or yourself. Care – Show your friend that you’re worried about them and offer support. Tell a trusted adult so you can get help. Additional guided exercises to reduce stress and anxiety, and healthy coping strategies.
- My3: Lets you stay connected when you are having thoughts of suicide.
- Circle of six app: Need help getting home? Need an interruption? This is the mobile way to look out for each other on campus or when you’re out for the night. A simple tool to prevent violence before it happens.
- Stop, Breathe, and Think: Slay your stress, get more sleep or find your calm with short mindfulness activities tuned to your emotions.
- Mood Panda: Mood-tracking app.
- MindShift: Is anxiety getting in the way of your life? MindShift CBT uses scientifically proven strategies based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help you learn to relax and be mindful, develop more effective ways of thinking, and use active steps to take charge of your anxiety.
Needing help finding local resources? 2-1-1 is a three-digit helpline that connects anyone with local support and resources such as for: rent assistance, food pantries, affordable housing, utility assistance, etc.
IHCC EARLY ALERT
An Early Alert Referral is an alert from an instructor or other concerned person. This is due to concerns of an individual experiencing academic difficulties, or personal life situations that may be impacting academic life. An Early Alert Referral can help individuals find support resources to stay in class and successfully finish. Falling behind in studies can have a domino effect on an individual’s ability to earn their degree, transfer, graduate or even qualify for financial aid or scholarships. Let us assist you in identifying individualized options, resources, and opportunities to help you succeed. If you are uncertain whether to complete a CARE Team or Early Alert Referral, please know that either would be appropriate, because staff that review each referral will be able to respond accordingly.
IHCC CARE TEAM
The CARE Team or Campus Assessment-Response-Evaluation Team provides guidance and assistance to students who are experiencing crisis, displaying odd or unusual behaviors, or engaging in other behaviors that may be perceived as being harmful (either to a student individually or to others).
The CARE Team is composed of representatives from different areas and departments of IHCC; and staff at the CPRC are able to work closely with the CARE Team to best support students. Please view the link below if you would like to find out more information about the CARE Team and/or to make a referral.
IHCC SAFETY & SECURITY
Keeping Indian Hills students, faculty and staff safe is our No. 1 priority. If you would like more information on Safety and Security measures and contacts, please visit the link below.
IHCC FACULTY/STAFF: EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (EAP)
Work Life Balance EAP is designed to help employees find solutions for the everyday challenges of work and home as well as for more serious issues involving emotional and physical well-being. This is a confidential service between the employee and consultant/counselor. This also includes medical emergency assistance when traveling and provides survivors of eligible employees and/or employees facing a life-threatening illness with financial advice. In order to access these services, employees must relay that they are covered by UNUM to receive this benefit. Information can be found at the Staff Resources page under “Human Resources Forms and Policies” and “Work-Life Balance Program”; or contact the Human Resources office with questions.
Counseling and Prevention Resource Center
Indian Hills Community College
Trustee Hall, First Floor
525 Grandview Avenue Ottumwa, Iowa 52501
Phone: (641) 683-5152 or (800) 726-2585, ext. 5152
Email: [email protected]
Questions about services may be emailed, however, we do not schedule appointments via email, because email is not considered a confidential communication. Staff are also not able to check email with regularity or frequency, therefore for the timeliest and most confidential communication, please call!