The Webster University wellness committee is dedicated to making students, faculty and staff healthier. This is not a task we at The Journal envy. College students are notorious for their bad habits, nearly all of which affect their health. We eat greasy food, we sleep sporadically (if at all), we drink alcohol (some of us much, much more than others) and we sometimes take drugs (of all shapes, colors and sizes).
Furthermore, there is nothing to make a student tune out an adult like a patronizing speech about the importance of health. But a survey recently conducted by the committee aimed at identifying health-risk factors was aimed at more than just physical health. More and more, counseling services and the wellness committee has focused on the emotional and mental well-being of the modern student. The Journal believes this is a more important, and more unseen, part of a students well- being.
Too often, physical health concerns trump the mental or emotional health problems of young people. While students already struggle to make public their health problems, they are even less inclined to discuss whatever psychological turmoil they may be experiencing. Anonymous surveys are more likely to gather accurate information on emotional health. As a student openly struggles with health conditions or fight against body image issues, the inner emotional turmoil that comes with stress of college is often overlooked. The Journal believes that stress, depression and anxiety should be ranked just as high on our priorities as childhood obesity or diabetes.
Mental illness is hard to see and even harder to admit. Those suffering often do so in silence. By promoting wellness of body as well as mind, Webster is taking steps to end the stigma attached with emotional instability. The Journal hopes this will help to start a real and meaningful conversation on the dangers of non-physical health problems. The Journal would like to see more students comfortable in identifying and seeking treatment for mental and emotional troubles. Suicide is not uncommon for young people living in close quarters. The added stress of college and (for many) a part or full-time job has pushed more than one young promising mind into permanent darkness. But with preparation, open dialogue and genuine concern, students and faculty can prevent these tragedies. Tell a friend or a loved one when you struggle, and don’t be afraid to confront others about their own well-being.
Students can take an active part in the collective prosperity and health of the university. The Journal will always support efforts aimed at making students happier. We will always be in favor of measures bringing help to those most in need.