September marks the end of summer but highlights mental health awareness an issue relating to college students.
As students begin a new school year regardless of being freshmen or returning scholars the pressure to exceed is back on.
Last fall semester three College of the Canyons students took their lives.
“None of those three students had been in the personal counseling program” says Larry Schallert, Assistant Director of the Student Health and Wellness Mental Program.
Schallert along with the Student Health and Wellness Center, or SHWC, at COC tries to inform students there is help available.
September is recognized as Mental Health Awareness month.
A month the SHWC welcomes students in need of their services or to help by volunteering in events planned for this month.
For students contemplating in reaching out for help, Schallert states it is an act of courage, one in the right direction.
For those students who let stigma hold them back from seeking help Schallert assures that all information is confidential and that there are multiple ways of guidance.
One in particular is one on one sessions, which allows students to have complete privacy when discussing any concerns.
The SHWC does not only care for the need of college students but also the community, whether it be educating others on signs of depression or suicide the center is ready to offers its services.
Kevin Berthia who is now a motivational speaker saw himself at lost for hope in 2005 where he had thoughts of letting himself go from the Golden Gate Bridge.
Mental pressure builds from a variety of issues suicide Berthia says.
California Highway Patrol Officer Kevin Briggs helped him back to safety.
During that time in his life Berthia says, “I used to think I was alone and nobody knew what it felt like.”
Describing that point in his life as having a full plate of tasks, balancing fatherhood and being a college student trying to achieve a higher level of education.
“I have an obligation being a suicide survivor, anybody that is a survivor of anything you have an obligation to help somebody else.”
Berthia visited COC back in May to let students know that he came out of the darkest point in his life and anyone can come out of it to because he realized, “Each and every day we have an opportunity to start a new life.”
Tragedies like these can be avoided with help from resources on college campuses like COC’s SHWC.
Those seeking help can also call the national suicide prevention hotline at 1(800) 273-8255.