Addressing mental health is key to student success

        Illustration by Anthony Lazon/The ETCetera


With September being National Suicide Awareness Month, it’s important to discuss mental health and how it affects students. Many students with mental illness struggle with understanding and retaining information. If colleges are truly interested in improving their success rates, they should better promote help for those struggling since mental illness can affect the way a student learns, retains and utilizes information. 

It’s Important to understand mental illness and know what it is and what it can do. It comes in many forms, and seeking help is the best way to label what you feel. Depression, anxiety and ADHD can all alter the way a student’s brain processes information.

These conditions can hinder the way knowledge is taken in and can affect the student in negative ways. Whether it’s lack of motivation, inability to pay attention or just complete blockage from reality, it can stop someone from learning. 

Statistics from the Association for Children’s Mental Health state 1 in 10 young people have a mental health challenge that is severe enough to impair how they function at home, school or in the community. These statistics show just how common the battle with mental illness is. 

As someone who struggles with mental illness, I know firsthand what it’s like to deal with its negative consequences. It’s a type of frustration that gets to you because although I know I need to pay attention and do well in school, my own mind makes me feel otherwise. I feel like I’m in my own cloud and it blocks any information from sticking to my brain.

It’s a battle. Some days I’m great and can retain so much. However, some days I don’t even see the point in coming in. I feel so disconnected and don’t have any motivation to even try. It causes a domino effect because I don’t care while I’m at school and when I get home, I pity myself for not even trying although it seemed impossible. This results in me feeling even worse about my mental health. 

It is a challenge, but it’s something I must learn to control in order to succeed. Fortunately, help is available on our campus. Eastfield has its own counseling center for students who are struggling with mental health issues. Colleges offer a wide variety of help for those in need. 

I wish these resources were promoted more by the college. Eastfield offers free on-site counseling as well as information regarding off-campus places a student can visit to get help.

They also offer links to assist students struggling to pay for counseling. The counselors available on campus are licensed professionals with masters or doctorate degrees. I was not aware of this until one of my counselors showed me the webpage showcasing all the resources they offer. 

Mental Illness is a problem that many live with, but with the right help from the right people it can be controlled. College is a stepping stone in life, and we students should not let anything get in the way of our success. 

— Manuel Cruz is a contributor and a public relations major 


  1. Very informative! Thank you for having the courage enough to express your experience with mental illness. We need more people like you to make us more aware of the struggles with mental illness. I wish you all the best in your endeavors.

  2. I know the feeling at times my anxiety would make me completely shut down to the point I couldn’t focus at all. Mental health is so important and doesn’t get as much exposure as it should.

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