People are different, so it makes sense that different people would react to stress differently.
There is a wide variety of coping mechanisms, and they range from harmless activities to harmful ones.
Some folks cook; some read comics; some drink champagne and some do cocaine.
“There are certain coping mechanisms that involve getting into drugs and getting into things that aren’t necessarily good for them,” Samantha Lindsey, COC’s Active Minds club president, said. “There’s also coping mechanisms that can actually help them and help them with what they’re going through without harming themselves.”
The Active Minds club, alongside the school’s Student Wellness Ambassadors, is actively working to help students with this issue and mental health in general.
“What we do is we just try to promote mental health awareness, reduce stigma and outreach resources as well,” said Jessica Cabanos, a Student Wellness Ambassador. “Here at COC, one of our jobs is to collaborate with Active Minds.”
Lindsey recommended an array of healthy coping mechanisms, one of them being to simply talk to someone so that you aren’t alone.
Another she recommended was meditation, a solution endorsed by many.
“I can have a frustration or I can have a sadness or I can have a fear and I don’t have to go off the deep end with that. I can sit in and kinda evaluate how real is it,” said Bob Sharits, Program Director of The Way Out Recovery SCV.
Sharits was one of the speakers during a workshop about mental health and coping skills facilitated by the Student Health & Wellness Center and held in COC’s Mentry Hall Room 343 on March 27th.
However, going cold turkey is something Lindsey advised against.
“So you can’t just completely take them off and just not let them use them because…their withdrawals can be very severe but you definitely want to get them to someone who can help them with getting off those bad coping mechanisms and helping them find better new coping mechanisms,” Lindsey said.
Replacing unhealthy coping habits with healthy ones will take time, but it’s definitely achievable.
A major roadblock is starting the dialogue in the first place.
Jennifer Majewsky, Substance Use Disorder Counselor for the Child & Family Center, during that same workshop Sharits attended pointed out that discussions centered around mental health, coping and addiction are often shrugged off as not being pressing enough issues.
But mental health is important, and it’s about high time we started talking about it, openly and without judgment because these conversations can lead to lives being changed.