Wellness Wednesday, 5.12.2021
LBCC is celebrating Mental Health Awareness Week, and across the United States and beyond, it’s Mental Health Awareness Month. Look up NAMI – National Alliance for Mental Health, ACHA – American College Health Association, Active Minds or AFSP – American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. All of these organizations have campaigns to promote awareness and suggest actions to support mental well-being. So often, when we talk about “health” we think of physical health. This week we’re talking about how we feel and what we think. This is not always a part of our culture to stop and have real conversations about the scary stuff in our brain. A friend of mine said, “Your mind can be a dangerous place. Don’t go in there alone”. What he was referring to are the dark places we sometimes get into. Hurt, shame, fear, depression and all kinds of ways to feel “not okay”. If we stay there too long, we can get caught in the riptide.
So let’s change the conversation about mental health. Let’s dare to be real and ask each other for help. Or just to listen.
Why is it tough to ask for help? People are hardwired to want to look good. We want to be independent, do things on our own and not be needy. You are vulnerable when you ask for help. Fear of rejection. Fear we’re not good enough so someone will not help. We don’t want others to think we’re weak. This fear of what others think of us can hold us back. How to get better at asking for help? Start with small things. “Hey, I have a situation I don’t know how to handle. Can I talk it through out loud with you and we can come up with some possible solutions”?
I participated in the “Peer Listening” activity on Monday this week, led by the “Changemakers”, the HDFS co-curricular club. The student leaders practiced what I’ll call “powerful listening” in pairs to let people talk through their thoughts out loud, without giving advice or suggestions. The premise is, we do have the answers within us, and we can benefit from someone to hear us, think with us and ask questions so we can better see our own answers.
One other thing about seeking help, be it counseling or talking with a friend or family member, when asked to help most of us say “yes, I’d love to help”. That’s another thing we’re hard-wired for, being there for others. We survive and thrive in a community. It’s flattering to be asked for help. It’s a gift that we are seen as capable and it’s an opening to get to know someone a little better. Take the risk. Ask for help.
The LBCC Advising Center has counselors to provide short-term counseling. You can schedule appointments and we have an “urgent care” counselor available Monday-Friday, 9-4, and a 24/7 phone line for support and referral. 541-917-4780.
Other important phone/text numbers to get help.
LBCC Mental Health and Crisis Contact information:
For an immediate health/safety risk, call 911 or the LBCC Public Safety officer at 541-926-6855
Academic Year: Advising Center Counselors, Mon – Fri 9am to 4pm; 541-917-4780 press 1. Note: Possible wait time of 15-30 minutes for a counselor to be available.
After Hours LBCC Mental Health Crisis Line: 541-917-4780, press 2
Linn County Mental Health Crisis Line: (800) 304-7468
Benton County Mental Health Crisis Line: (888) 232-7192
National Suicide Prevention Line: (800) 273-8255
Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence (CARDV): (800) 754-0110
24/7 Confidential Crisis Counseling Text Line: Text OREGON to 741741
Veteran Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 or text at 838255