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Running head: AWARENESS OF MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES 1

A Community Problem Report:

Awareness of Mental Health Issues at UTEP

Aylin Caudillo

UTEP
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Abstract

Mental health awareness for college students and why they should attain help. Mainly

concentrating on The University of Texas at El Paso.


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A Community Problem Report:

Awareness of Mental Health Issues at UTEP

Mental health issues have a great effect on college students and their ability to perform

well in their university level work. College campuses should raise awareness to mental health

issues and provide enough information to their students on where to get help and of the different

types of mental health issues and their corresponding symptoms. College campuses should let

their students know that they are not alone and not only do they care about their education

success, but they care about their mental health too. Without a healthy mental health, one cannot

become successful. This report will cover educating students about mental health issues, the fear

of getting help, and the resources that UTEP provides.

Educating Students about Mental Health Issues

Mental health issues affect a student’s success. According to Hicdurmanz et al. (2014), a

lot of factors can affect a university student’s mental health, such as stress, adjusting to the

college life, and own personal problems, such as toxic relationships, kids, and sexuality (p. 651).

According to Stock and Levine (2016), the most common mental health issues presented in

college students are depression and anxiety (p. 9-10). Depression can come from moving away

from family, to feeling like a failure because of bad grades or low GPA. Anxiety can come from

test anxiety, to social anxiety, to not having control of the future and not knowing what one is

going to do after graduation. According to Health & Medicine Week Newsletter (2007), mental

health issues not only effect the one suffering from the issue it can also affect their peers and

family members (Para. 2), due to the fact that one might have violent acts or isolate themselves

from friends and family.


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Untreated mental health issues can lead to lower GPA and even dropping out of school.

According to Remmers (1957), With the right education from a young age mental health issues

could be treated right away and avoid serious consequences (P. 1-2). Even if mental health issues

were not taught at a young age, it is never too late to get educated about the symptoms and effect

for the sake of one’s health or of a loved one. Although it is quite easy to say “Just go get help”

there is also a lot of factors behind attaining help when help is needed.

Samulouis et al. present a study on university students to find a relation between identity

distress and mental health issues. This study examined the relation between identity distress and

mental health issues in college students. The author acknowledge that an online survey was

utilized to assess whether college students had been diagnosed with or treated for anxiety,

depression, substance use, and other mental health issues in the past 12 months. Experiments

showing that identity distress can affect ones long-term goals, friendships, career choice, sexual

orientation and behavior, religion, values or beliefs, and group loyalties was assessed. Stock and

Levine (2016), reminded us how all these issues affect the life of a college student and what they

can do to help themselves. To support their theory they talk about ideas of support that go above

and beyond the schools counseling center (P. 9-11).

The Fear of Getting Help

Students are afraid of being labeled as weak if they get help for something that their

family members or peers might not believe is true. According to Chen et al. College students are

not getting help due to mental health issues being labeled as “taboo” (P. 678). Chen, Romero, and

Karver, professors from the University of South Florida presented a study to find out why

college students that suffer from mental health issues do not attain the help that they should be

getting. The authors noted factors such as mental health issues being a taboo in their family or in
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the university community (P. 679). For example, if the student feels that they will be labeled as

“weak” or as “crazy” for attaining help, then that is not very motivating for them to attain the

help that they should be getting in order to be successful in their social and educational life.

In, The University of Texas at El Paso the border location and culture has an effect on

student’s mental health and the reason they will not attain help. (Rene Delgadillo, The Prospector

2016). Most of the Hispanic culture does not believe that mental health issues exist. Majority of

the population at UTEP is Hispanic students. Meaning that a lot of students may not be getting

the help they need because they grew up in culture where mental health issues are labeled as

taboo and where getting help means you are weak minded. They might have been taught that

“just ignore it” but mental health issues cannot be ignored. Mental health issues need to be

treated, in order to be healthy and to have success not only in school but in our social life as well.

According to DiMino (2003), mental health issues should stop being a ‘taboo’ topic and

they should start teaching about mental health issues and how to attain help, this will have a great

educational value in populations that make this topic a “taboo”. DiMino also talks about an

author named Amada and how the Chinese culture stays away from talking about mental health

issues. However, to prove his own thesis he informs his audience about how Amada had a

successful treatment of a Chinese student and discusses “the value of educational outreach to this

population.” (page 88). Amanda also mentions that not only do we have to accept that mental

health issues exist we have to accept getting help from psychologist and not feel guilty about it.

As DiMino (2003) said, “We need to accept that it is okay to talk about mental health issue and

that it is also okay to get help” (P. 87).


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Resources provided on UTEP campus

Research for resources that UTEP provides was very challenging. They have the

Counseling and Psychological Services but that is it. UTEP student organizations should

encourage students to get the help that they need (Rene Delgadillo The Prospector. 2016). Teach

students and encourage them to raise awareness to mental health issues that they might be

suffering from or someone they know. NSCS hosted an event where they paid awareness to

mental health issues, however, only members of that honor society knew about it. Therefore, the

point that is trying to get across is that college campuses should attempt to spread the word of

awareness to the entire mass of student not only certain students of certain organizations. In all

honesty, a student suffering from depression is most likely not going to be involved on campus

therefore he or she would not know that their school is raising awareness or that they are having

events for people with mental health issues. Other than awareness, universities such as The

University of Texas at El Paso should let their students know that resources such as the

Counseling and Psychological Services exist and that are happy to attend anyone that is having a

bad day or that simply just wants to talk about their day.

Conclusion and Recommendations

In closing, there are various factors that affect a student’s mental health and a lot of

reasons one may not attain the help that they should be getting. As one cannot make students go

and get help we can raise awareness to such issues. One could dedicate days to mental health and

do events on campus, pass out flyers letting them know that we all suffer from mental health

issues and that they are not alone. If possible, students and professors could come forward and

talk about their issues and the help they are getting, this creates empathy and students would feel

comfortable knowing that they can relate to their peers or even their authoritative figures. As a
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community we just need to get rid of the taboo and let it be known that mental health issues

exist, and that it is fine to have them. Having anxiety or depression does not make you less of a

person and attaining help does not make you weak. All college campuses, not only UTEP should

raise awareness to mental health issues. A university is a discourse community, and as a

community we should all be there for one another and encourage each other to attain the help

one needs not only for our own scholarly success but also for our own mental health success.

Therefore, instead of only staying in between organizations they should send those awareness

emails to all who are enroll at UTEP.


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References

Chen, J. I., Romero, G. D., & Karver, M. S.(2015). The Relationship of Perceived Campus

Culture to Mental Health Help-Seeking Intentions. Journal Of Counseling

Psychology, 63(6), 677-684.

http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/detail/detail?vid=2&sid=eeaae2b1-f5b6-4bd7-acbe-

0322ac150951%40sessionmgr103&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0

ZQ%3d%3d#AN=26053061&db=cmedm

Delgadillo, R., & Martinez, A. (2016, March 29). Students shine light on mental health.

https://www.theprospectordaily.com/2016/03/29/students-shine-light-on-mental-health/

DiMino, J. L. (2003). Mental Health and Student Conduct Issues on the College

Campus(Book). Journal Of College Student Psychotherapy, 18(2), 86-88

http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=4&sid=eeaae2b1-f5b6-4bd7-

acbe-0322ac150951%40sessionmgr103

Hicdurmaz, D., Inci, F., & Karahan, S. (2017). Predictors of Mental Health Symptoms,

Automatic Thoughts, and Self-Esteem Among University Students. Psychological

Reports, 120(4), 650-669.

http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=6&sid=eeaae2b1-f5b6-4bd7-

acbe-0322ac150951%40sessionmgr103

Remmers, H. H. (1957). Growth: teaching, and learning: a book of readings. New York: Harper.

Samuolis, J., Barcellos, M., LaFlam, J., Belson, D., & Berard, J. (2015). Mental health issues and

their relation to identity distress in college students. Identity: An International Journal Of

Theory And Research, 15(1), 66-73. doi:10.1080/15283488.2014.989443


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Stock, S. R., & Levine, H. (2016). Common Mental Health Issues. New Directions For Student

Services, 2016(156), 9-18. doi:10.1002/ss.20187

Understanding College Student Mental Health: The Psychological, Institutional and Legal

Issues. Health & Medicine Week. (2007) http://www.newsrx.com/newsletters/Health-and-

Medicine-Week.html
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Figure 1: Perceived Campus Culture

structural equation model. Chen et al

(2015)