On the mental health of the Tech community

Photo courtesy of Blake Israel

Health and well-being are the basis of a full and productive lifestyle. Without health, you cannot fulfill your most basic needs. Participating in daily activities such as interacting with your community, going to the dining hall, or finally going to lectures is jeopardized. 

Whether it’s your physical or mental health that is threatened, these tasks can seem daunting. Meeting with friends may be harder than usual or even impossible (shoutout to quarantine). It is important to recognize the importance of our health and well-being because we often forget the role it plays in our lives. 

Or, to be more specific, we often forget what beneficial and healthy practices look like. What do healthy practices on a college campus look like? I won’t pretend that I know. To be completely honest, the question I posed was quite literal. Does anyone know? I see people who look like they eat, sleep, and study at the CRC, but is that what we all need to be doing? 

I believe that under this current pandemic, physical health awareness is at an all-time high. 

Everybody is worried about getting sick and everybody wants to stay fit. We have all taken a health class before, and we know what we are “supposed” to do. Furthermore, I feel like we are at a point where people care less and less about what other people do with their bodies (rightfully so). 

With this being said, physical health on a college campus does not seem to be a problem. At this time, because we have had so much emphasis on physical health lately, and to be frank, our whole lives, we need to address other aspects of wellness. 

I think it is only productive to focus on spreading awareness of the struggles and signs of mental health, especially here at tech. Did you hear that they opened the CULC rooftop? Georgia Tech must have a lot of faith in its student body. 

If someone were to take advantage of the rooftop being open… just think of all the horrible things that could happen…Tech could get bad press or even worse…. a lawsuit! Or at least that is what the admin is thinking about. This is the real reason we ALL need to be focused on our mental health. 

We wouldn’t want something like this to happen. In all seriousness, we should be focused on our mental health so that we stay happy and healthy. Suicide and suicidal ideation are very serious things, and we as students often joke about them (especially about the CULC roof). If you or someone needs help, with any mental health struggles, please seek help.

Outreach programs that are centered around increasing education and resources are key to greater awareness, such as GT CARE. This campus resource is vastly overlooked. GT CARE is a starting point for mental health and is a free service offered to students. Whether you struggle with test anxiety, disordered eating, depression, or even homesickness, you can make an appointment with CARE. I would like to help destigmatize the conversation around mental health. Students at Georgia Tech are under immense expectations and with that comes stress. We need to familiarize ourselves with the resources we are given, although underfunded and understaffed. 

If Tech won’t reach out to help its students, then leave it to student organizations such as SMILE or CARE Ambassadors. We have to deal with our school’s mental health crisis. This is what wellness on our campus looks like.

Students can call the after-hours GT CARE number at 404-894-3498, dial 1 to be connected to the after-hours counselor. 

They can also call the Victim-Survivor Advocate line at 404-894-9000, the Georgia Crisis and Access Line at 1-800-715-4225, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).