Emotional and Mental Health Resources

ButterflyOur minds can be our best friends, or our worst enemies. Learn to make your mind your friend!

Emotional and mental health are essential to having a happy and successful career at HSU. Knowing, accepting and loving yourself is fundamental. The following are resources to help you learn and care for yourself.  There is also a wealth of information on these topics and many others on the Counseling and Psychological Services website.  You may want to check out our Life Skills Online Workshop.

Providers at HSU's Student Health and Counseling can assess and treat emotional/mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression. We promote healthy lifestyles, self-care, and coping skills. Our medical professionals can prescribe and manage medications if needed. We also encourage students to seek counseling services on or off campus.

Please note that we are not able to provide services for diagnosing or treating Attention Deficit Disorder.

We have a Psychiatrist who is available on a limited consultation basis by referral from the Student Health and Counseling medical and mental health providers.

Self-Assessment Tool

A quick, confidential, anonymous mental health screening tool.

Happiness, Inspirational Videos

 Additional Resources

 

Anxiety       

Things to know about tranquilizers

Books:
Practicing the Power of Now Practicing the Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle

 The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook

Free Guided Meditations: 

Relaxing Guided Meditation on Overcoming Anxiety    
A calming meditation with a focus on being in the present moment through breath.

Guided Visual Meditation on Anxiety Relief
A guided visualization that takes you through an experience of releasing your anxiety.

Spoken Affirmations for Panic Attacks
Tools to help you when having a panic attack.

One Breath Meditation Group
A free group on campus to learn and practice basic meditation and mindfulness skills.

Useful Apps for Anxiety:

Breathe2RelaxBreathe2Relax

PTSD CoachPTSD Coach

MindshiftMindshift

Buddhify - Mindfulness to goBuddhify - Mindfulness to go

Stop Breathe & ThinkStop, Breathe, & Think

HeadspaceHeadspace

 

Depression 

How to Control Your Thoughts

Things to know about antidepressants 

Books:
Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence

The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness

Article:
“Feeling Overwhelmed?  Remember “Rain” article by Tara Brach

 

Useful Apps for Depression:

Smiling MindSmiling Mind

DBTDBT Self-help

MY3MY3

HeadspaceHeadspace

Stop Breathe & ThinkStop, Breathe, & Think

 

Insomnia

Tips for Good Sleep

Experiencing problems with your sleep?  Here are several guidelines for getting back on track:
1. Get up and go to bed at the same time every day, even on weekends.  You are training your body to get into a sleep schedule.  Even if you had a tough time falling asleep the night before, it is important to get up when the alarm rings.  You may be a bit tired during the day, but you will be more likely to fall asleep on schedule that night. 

2. Develop sleep rituals.  Give your body cues that it is time to slow down and sleep.  For example, listen to relaxing music, read something soothing, have a cup of chamomile tea, meditate, or do relaxation exercises.

3. Don’t try to “make” yourself sleep.  If it has been over 20 minutes since you went to bed and you are still lying there awake, get up and do something boring for a short stretch of time.  For example, move to a couch or chair in a dimly lit place and read something that is fairly dull.  This is not the time for a new Stephen King novel.  Let yourself get drowsy and then get back into bed. 

4. Exercise, but do it early in the day (at least 3 hours before bedtime).  Exercise that gets your heart pumping (cardiovascular exercise) is most helpful.   Morning/early afternoon exercise is best: 20+ minutes of cardio or 45-60 minutes of brisk walking.

5. Only use your bed for sleeping and sex.  Don’t use it to watch TV, do homework, read, etc.  You are training your body to associate bed with sleep. 

6. Avoid caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and other drugs at least 4-6 hours before bed.  Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants that interfere with your ability to fall asleep.  Alcohol, while it may feel like it helps you get to sleep, will actually interfere with your ability to have a deep restful sleep (that is, you will actually wake sporadically throughout the night).  If you are a caffeine drinker, try limiting it to 1-2 cups in the morning; if you are still having trouble with sleep, try cutting caffeine altogether.

7. Don’t go to bed hungry or overly full.  It may be helpful to have a light snack before bed.  Having a glass of warm milk is actually quite helpful as this contains a natural sleep inducer (tryptophan).

8. Make sure your bed and bedroom are quiet and comfortable.  If there are external noises that are bothersome, wear earplugs or use a “white noise” machine.  Consider a “blackout shade” for your windows if the light bothers you in the mornings.  Make sure you are comfortable in terms of temperature (that the room is neither too hot nor too cold).  Typically, most people do best with the room a little on the cooler side (60s).  Make sure to have adequate blankets.

9. Take a hot bath or shower 90 minutes before bedtime.  There is research that shows that a drop in body temperature following a bath may leave you feeling sleepy.

10. Use sunlight to set your biological clock.  As soon as you get up in the morning, go outside and turn your face to the sun for 15 minutes.

11. If you can’t sleep, try to avoid getting too upset about it.  Pay attention to your thoughts and whether they are likely hindering or helping.  Tell yourself that, if you don’t get much sleep that night, you will likely be tired the next day, but you will be able to function adequately and your sleep is likely to be better the next night.

12. Avoid prolonged use of sleep medications.  Short-term sleep aids can be helpful in getting a couple of nights of good rest during a difficult period, but long-term use of medications should be avoided.  Certain medications, once stopped, can cause rebound insomnia, and medications can be habit-forming.  See your health care professional about the appropriate use of such medications.  Overall, lifestyle changes are safer and more effective in producing quality sleep over time.
Resources: Some of the above tips are adapted from The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook by Edmund Bourne, Ph.D.

 

 

Website
The Sleep Foundation

Useful Apps for Insomnia

Relax melodiesRelax Melodies: Sleep & YogaRelax RainRelax Rain – Nature Sounds

 

Substance Use

Sometimes people use recreational drugs as a way to cope with, or “self-medicate,” emotional or mental health issues.  This is not helpful because it does not heal the underlying reason for suffering, and can also create more problems.

Do you have any of these Signs of Symptoms of Substance abuse? If yes, please seek help at the SHC or CAPS.

Signs and Symptoms of Substance Abuse and/or Dependence

  • Recurrent substance use resulting in failure to fulfill role obligations at work, school, or home (e.g.: repeated absences at school or work, not completing homework or job duties, suspensions, expulsions, neglect of children or household work).
  • Using substances in physically hazardous situations (e.g.: while operating a machine or driving an automobile or motorcycle).
  • Legal problems related to substance use (e.g.: DUI/DWI, disorderly conduct).
  • Using substances despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or increased by the effects of substances (e.g.: arguments with friends/family, physical fights).
  • Needing increased amounts of the substance to achieve intoxication or a desired affect
  • Using more of the substance than intended or using the substance more often
  • Unsuccessful attempts to cut down or control substance use
  • Experiencing withdrawal effects or utilizing the substance to relieve or avoid withdrawal effects (e.g.: headaches, vomiting, anxiety, depression, sleeping a lot or too little, transient visual, tactile, or auditory hallucinations or illusions, psychomotor agitation, seizures, increased sweating or pulse greater than 100, dry mouth, increased or decreased appetite).

 

 

Resources

Humboldt State University

Local Community

National

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Emotional/Mental Health

I think I have Attention Deficit Disorder. Can I receive services such as diagnosis and medication for this at Student Health & Counseling?

No. We are not able to provide services for diagnosing or medically treating Attention Deficit Disorder. Click here to learn more and find providers in the area who may provide these services.  You may be able to participate in counseling services at CAPS to help with some of your symptoms (e.g., increasing your focus, dealing with relational impacts of the disorder, etc.).  If interested in counseling, please schedule an intake appointment through CAPS at 826-3236 and we will help you develop a plan for your care.