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Nurturing Mental Health: Vital Lessons from Nursing Student Voices

World Mental Health Day is an opportune time to reflect on the importance of mental health awareness. At the university's College of Nursing, students like Ryan Fox, Hope Fahrner, Ebony Capone, and Alexis Mood are shedding light on the pressing need to prioritize mental well-being within the demands of a full class load within the scope of nursing education.

What they’re saying

The college opened conversation with our CON Creators on their personal mental health journeys. Fahrner, aptly puts it, "Magnifying conversation surrounding mental health has been a prominent piece of my experience at the university and within the College of Nursing."

She continued, “As we learn about our whole patients and how their mental health may affect their care, we need to remember the same applies to all of us.”

Fahrner emphasizes the crucial role of conversation in magnifying awareness about mental health. Her perspective underscores the significance of fostering an open dialogue around mental health issues, promoting understanding, incorporating mindfulness into your everyday life, and creating a supportive environment for students.

Fox agrees “Leaving space to check in with myself when I feel overwhelmed is a habit I adopted after beginning to practice mindfulness.…I have the chance to create a plan that’s fair to me and my time, often leading to a reduction or at least change in perception of my stress.”

Capone, sharing her insights on challenges faced in nursing school, acknowledges the tendency to neglect personal well-being while striving for academic success. She notes that no amount of studying can shield individuals from the impact of fatigue and sadness.  

“Too many times in health-based majors/professions, we are flooded with the problems of others, whilst neglecting our own. We've seen the deadly consequences of that thinking which has claimed the lives of those who felt they had no other option to resolve their emotions," stated Capone.

One step at a time

Capone’s message serves as a stark reminder that self-care is not selfish; it is essential for those in health care fields to be at their best to provide the best care for others. She urges College of Nursing students to take stock of their own mental health, saying, "I ask that you survey where you are right now… be honest with yourself… you're going to get your degree and change lives, don't worry."

Mood also echoes this sentiment, emphasizing the importance of recognizing one's efforts. "Realizing that you are working so hard towards your end goal and that even if you think it's going unnoticed, it's not," she says. Mood encourages students to appreciate their progress, take breaks, and understand that they are in a beautiful phase of life. "Your future is bright, and you deserve everything you are working towards," she adds.

Mood adds a positive perspective to the discussion, emphasizing the importance of recognizing personal accomplishments and taking breaks amidst the demands of nursing education. Mood's insight encourages students to appreciate their journey, acknowledge their efforts, and understand that their hard work does not go unnoticed. Her uplifting message reinforces the idea that self-care and acknowledging personal achievements are vital components of maintaining mental health.

Bottom Line

As we observe World Mental Health Day, the voices from the College of Nursing remind us of the collective responsibility to create an environment that supports mental health. 

If you are ever in need, below are the on campus mental health resources: 
24/7 mental health hotline: 833-664-2854 
Schedule an appointment with counseling/psychiatric services: 803-777-5223 
Suicide hotline: Call or Text 988 


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