Tag Archives: CSUN Counseling Services

Mental Health Matters

Depression is the number one reason students drop out of school, and it may lead to other mental illnesses or even to suicide.

“There’s so many statistics on it,” said Steven Wang, from CSUN Counseling Services and the coordinator of the campus’ Blues Project. “One of four students are more likely to have depression, and it’s not treated. Stress would be on that spectrum, as well.”

Many people still hold negative stereotypes of mental illness as dangerous or a sign of weakness, and those stereotypes may keep people from getting help.

“I think the stigma comes from people not being familiar or just not knowing what the behaviors are,” said Ebony Harper, an advisor to students in CSUN Student Housing. “So it can be seen as acting out, or you have behavior problems, so you get this thing that people don’t want to be around you.”

Organizations such as the National Alliance on Mental Health have been emphasizing the importance of recognizing and treating mental illness, but mental health is often not talked about within families.

NAMI board member Michelle Thomas said there is a lack of knowledge, but that most people with mental illnesses lead normal lives if they get treatment. “Most of the time you don’t even know people have mental illness, unless their symptoms are active,” she said.

NAMI and the University Counseling Services offer support and treatment options that may help students feel free to talk about mental illness and seeking care.

“Using proper language, and being able to address it properly, as well as sharing your story, I think helps,” Wang said.

Moderator: Tephanie Martinez

Producer: Nathan Hoffman

Anchor: Max Goen

Social Media Editors: Star Harvey and Jennifer Montiel

Reporters: Breanna Burnette, Max Goen, Star Harvey, Shuandy Herrera, Nathan Hoffman, Tephanie Martinez and Jennifer Montiel

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Disaster Strikes! Are You Ready?

In the past 20 years, 600,000 people worldwide have died in natural disasters. These disasters are typically unexpected and often cause physical damage, but they can also take an emotional toll.

“The more preparedness, the better,” American Red Cross Preparedness Manager Guillermo Sanchez said. “Be better prepared, so that way it doesn’t impact you as much. People think preparedness is complicated, but it’s not: take simple steps.”

Organizations such as American Red Cross and CSUN’s Office of Emergency Management advise everyone to have a plan, not just for themselves, but for their families as well. Families should discuss a meeting place in case of emergency, and they should practice these plans. Having an out-of-state contact is encouraged. Residents should have household kits ready for when a disaster strikes. Some items people should include in their kits are: storable foods, water, sanitation products, and hygiene products. These items should also be updated every six months. CSUN’s Office of Emergency Management hosts events throughout the year for students, faculty and staff promoting emergency preparedness.

“A significant disaster such as a major earthquake is kind of an all-hands-on-deck situation,” said Lisa Curtis, Emergency Manager for CSUN’s Department of Police Services. “If the incident requires resources beyond those of the university, we will definitely be supported by assisting agencies from fire and police departments, as well Public Works and the Department of Public Health…depending on the scale of it. If it commands resources across the region and across the state, we could see resources coming in from multiple jurisdictions and multiple levels of government.”

Scientists say Southern California is due for a major earthquake. It’s possible a magnitude 8.2 quake could shake Los Angeles. A quake of that magnitude would be most destructive in the L.A. area because the San Andreas fault runs very close to and underneath densely populated areas. The U.S Geological Survey predicts an earthquake of such magnitude on the San Andreas would produce shaking more intense than the 1994 magnitude 6.7 earthquake that hit Northridge and killed 57 people. The quake had a large impact on  CSUN’s campus and the surrounding community.

The American Psychological Association says it’s normal for natural disasters to create unpredictable feelings in survivors: trouble concentrating or making decisions, disrupted sleeping patterns, and emotional upsets on anniversaries or other reminders. Psychological research shows that many are able to successfully recover from the emotional trauma of disasters. Taking active steps to prepare and to cope are important factors in having the ability to move forward.

“That’s another way of having a sense of control over something that is out of everyone’s control,” CSUN Educational Psychology & Counseling Department Professor Jennifer Vargas Pemberton said. “Anything you can do to be supportive of one another…It really gives us a sense that we can be part of the healing, and part of the restoration, and that really strengthens us and moves us forward.”

“What is most important is that people reach out to their support systems,” CSUN Counseling Services’ Lori Meono said. “Whether that’s friends, family, coworkers or whoever helps them feel safe…because one, I think, very common response, is that people lose a sense of safety. Having support can be really helpful.”

Moderator: Katherine Molina

Producer: Heatherann Wagner

Anchor: Lauren Turner Dunn

Social Media Editors: Cammeron Parrish and Heatherann Wagner

Reporters: Jacob Gonzalez, Katherine Molina, Cammeron Parrish, Haley Spellman, Lauren Turner Dunn and Heatherann Wagner

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