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Mental Health Resources

Reference information available for:

To do a FREE online mental health screening go to Screening for Mental Health

  • Feeling sad, blue, or hopeless?
  • Lost interest in things you used to enjoy?
  • Body aches and pains with no known physical cause?

Take the Depression Screening

  • Mood swings from very high to extreme lows?
  • Acting in a way that is reckless, foolish or risky?
  • So irritable that you shout at people and start arguments?

Take the Bipolar Disorder Screening

  • Can't stop worrying?
  • Restless and on-edge?
  • Experiencing muscle pain, headaches, or stomach problems?

Take the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Screening

  • Experienced or witnessed a traumatic or violent event?
  • Having nightmares, flashbacks?
  • Feeling emotional numbness?

Take the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Screening

  • Drink so much you forget what happened?
  • Tried to cut back but couldn't?
  • Friends and family concerned about your drinking?

Take the Alcohol Screening

At the end of each anonymous screening you will receive an immediate result that can be printed and taken to a clinician for further evaluation. A screening test is not a substitute for a complete evaluation but it can help you learn if your symptoms are consistent with depression, bipolar disorder, an alcohol problem, an anxiety disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder and how to access help. This program is designed for individuals age 17 and above. The online screening is completely confidential.

Suicide

If You Are Feeling Suicidal:

If you have thought about suicide, it is important to recognize these thoughts for what they are: expressions of a treatable medical illness. Don't let embarrassment stand in the way of vital communication with your physician, family or friends. Take immediate action and talk to somebody today.

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
(800) 273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Recognizing Warning Signs in Others:

As a friend or family member, it can be difficult determine how close a person may be to attempting suicide. If you sense there is a problem, ask the person direct questions and point out behavior patterns that concern you. Remind the person that you care about them and are concerned. Talking about suicide with someone will not plant the idea in his or her head. If necessary, suggest that they make appointment to see their doctor and offer to go with them if you sense they would have difficulty doing it on their own. If you believe that immediate self-harm is possible, take the person to a doctor or hospital emergency room immediately.

A suicidal person may:

  • Talk about committing suicide
  • Have trouble eating or sleeping
  • Experience drastic changes in behavior
  • Withdraw from friends and/or social activities
  • Lose interest in hobbies, work, school, etc.
  • Prepare for death by making out a will and final arrangements
  • Have attempted suicide before
  • Take unnecessary risks
  • Have had a recent severe loss
  • Be preoccupied with death and dying
  • Lose interest in their personal appearance
  • Increase their use of alcohol or drugs
  • Give away prized possessions

Be Aware of Do's and Don'ts:

Do:

  • Be aware. Learn the warning signs.
  • Get involved. Become available. Show interest and support.
  • Ask if he or she is thinking about suicide.
  • Be direct. Talk openly and freely about suicide.
  • Be willing to listen. Allow expression of feelings. Accept the feelings.
  • Be non-judgmental. Don't debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or feelings are good or bad.
  • Offer hope that alternatives are available, but do not offer glib reassurance. It only proves you don't understand.
  • Take action. Remove means. Get help from persons or agencies specializing in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.
  • Offer empathy, not sympathy.

Don't:

  • Don't lecture on the value of life.
  • Don't dare him or her to do it.
  • Don't act shocked. This will put distance between you.
  • Don't give advice by making decisions for someone else or tell him or her to behave differently.
  • Don't ask "why." This encourages defensiveness.
  • Don't be sworn to secrecy. Seek support.

What to Do:

If you or someone you know is concerned about suicide, contact the Counseling and Career Center immediately (616) 234-3900 or contact one of the following resources:

  1. A community health agency
  2. A private therapist
  3. A school counselor or psychologist
  4. A family physician
  5. A teen help line
  6. A suicide and crisis center

Internet Resources

These links are to provide you with useful information, and in no way are meant to substitute for personal counseling.

Virtual Pamphlet Collection An extensive list of information about mental health issues organized by topic. The Virtual Pamphlet Collection is presented by the University of Chicago Student Counseling and Resource Service.

Psychology in Daily Life Several interesting brochures prepared by the American Psychological Association.

Internet Mental Health A thorough index on mental health provided by Internet Mental Health.

Self Help and Psychology A psychology-oriented on-line magazine with current articles.

Psych Central: Grohol's Mental Health Page An index with useful Websites, newsgroups, and online mailing lists and articles about mental health, psychology, social work, and psychiatry.

UMD Health Information Index Common student concerns and specific psychological links by topic provided by the University of Minnesota Duluth Health Services.

Go Ask Alice Go Ask Alice! is the health question and answer Internet service produced by Alice!, Columbia University's Health Education Program.

Eating Disorders

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week
February 24
-March 2, 2013
www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

Living with an eating disorder is a serious life-threatening problem. Every year thousands of people die from complications of an eating disorder. The disorder can affect your physical body, emotional stability, personal relationships, and everyday activities like your job, school or social life. Although many sufferers are women, more and more men are being diagnosed with an eating disorder (see fact sheet).

Eating disorders are not a sign that a person has a problem with food. Eating disorders are symptoms of other underlying problems in that person's life. With proper treatment, people can fully recover.

Eating Disorders can be classified in to three areas: Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, or Binge Eating Disorder (also known as Compulsive Overeating).

Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by the refusal to maintain a minimally normal body weight through self starvation and significant weight loss resulting from excessive dieting. The individual is intensely afraid of gaining weight and has a distorted perception of his or her body image.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Lack of energy
  • Noticeable weight loss
  • Obsession with food and calories
  • Guilt and shame about eating
  • Irregular menstruation
  • Fainting spells and dizziness
  • Wearing baggy clothes to hide weight loss
  • Pale complexion
  • Always being cold
  • Difficulty eating in public

Medical/Physical Complications:

  • Hair loss
  • Fatigue
  • Dehydration
  • Abdominal pains
  • Kidney and liver damage
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Amenorrhea (loss of menstruation)
  • Insomnia

Bulimia Nervosa is characterized by repeated episodes of binge eating followed by purging and compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting or misuse of laxatives to rid oneself of the calories of the food consumed or to undo the effects of the binge eating.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Secretive eating
  • Vomiting
  • Laxative abuse
  • Mood swings
  • Tooth decay
  • Fear of not being able to stop eating voluntarily
  • Depression
  • Excessive exercise
  • Fasting
  • Severe self-criticism
  • Ashamed of their eating problems

Medical/Physical Complications:

  • Tears of esophagus
  • Stomach pain and bloating
  • Abrasions, calluses or scars on back of hands and knuckles
  • Chest pains
  • Chronic soar throats
  • Erosion of dental enamel
  • Amenorrhea (loss of menstruation) or irregular menstruation

Binge Eating Disorder is characterized by recurrent binge eating without the regular use of compensatory measures to counter the binge eating. The individual uses food as a way to cope with stress, emotional conflicts, family conflicts and daily problems.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Frequent episodes of binge eating
  • Eating large quantities of food in a short amount of time
  • Fear of not being able to stop eating voluntarily
  • Weight is focus of life
  • Frequent dieting; try many different diets
  • Feeling ashamed by eating behavior
  • Anger, anxiety, loneliness

Medical/Physical Complications:

  • Weight gain
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • High blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Shortness of breath