National Depression Education & Awareness Month 2022


In October we recognize Depression Education and AwarenessMental Illness Awareness Week (10/2/22-10/8/22), and World Mental Health Day (10/10/22). Mental health concerns impact all of us, and October offers the perfect time to learn more about signs and symptoms, erase stigma, and connect with those resources needed. Maintaining the mental health of our community takes all of us.

When it comes to Depression Education and Awareness, it’s important to know that depression is the 2nd most common mental health concern impacting college students. Knowing the symptoms can help you recognize when you or a loved one may need support. Depression symptoms can vary for each person. Symptoms can include feeling: tired, irritable, sad, worthless, excessively guilty, hopeless, empty, dissatisfied with life, and/or overwhelmed. It can cause difficulty with: concentration, memory, making decisions, sleep (insomnia or excessive sleep), headaches, pain, disruption to eating habits, and/or digestive problems. Depression can take the pleasure out of activities. It can lead to withdrawing from others. Often it can reduce motivation and energy. Depression makes things feel harder to do than they should be. The worse you feel, the easier it is to talk yourself out of doing what you need to do. And, this can leave you feeling even worse.

Are these symptoms significantly present and/or impacting your relationships, daily activities, and/or performance in school and/or work? If so, then is important to take steps to understand the cycle, help manage symptoms, and access resources to help improve your mood.

What you do and repeat matters. It is critical to build into your routine the healthy things that can improve your mood. Sometimes this means doing the opposite of what you feel like doing when a negative mood is keeping you from doing the healthy things that help you feel better. Working to incorporate a balance of social, pleasurable, and productive activities into your week can help you recharge and feel productive. Understanding how your thoughts may interact and contribute to your mood can help you find ways to challenge unhelpful thinking and feel relief. Understanding how you react to stressors, negative thoughts, and difficult emotions can help you better care for yourself when these occur. Discovering when you feel more focused or motivated, can assist you with finding the best times to accomplish necessary tasks when you have limited energy.

Looking for more connections at JMU? Take advantage of Student Activities & Involvement, Core & Connect, UREC Adventure Trips & Clinics, and Community Service-Learning opportunities. Want to find out more about upcoming events you may find interesting? Visit the JMU Master Calendar. Looking for academic and/or study skill support? Take advantage of professor office hours, available tutoring or mentoring, the Learning Centers, and Learning Strategies Instruction. Looking for free ways to practice self-care on campus? Visit the Counseling Center’s relaxation (Oasis) and creative arts (Studio) spaces.

Our physical health impacts our mental health and vice versa. Eating regular healthy meals and staying hydrated can help your brain and body function at its best. Lack of sleep or excessive sleep can negatively impact how we think and feel, and contribute to mental health concerns. Develop a regular sleep routine and work to maintain this, especially in those times of the semester that may become the busiest. Find ways to be physically active, as exercise has been proven to improve mood & sleep. Take advantage of free campus health and wellness resources offered at UREC and through the UHC.

Connect and know you are not alone. Reach out to a loved one and/or friend to talk about what you’ve been experiencing. Talk to your primary care doctor about your symptoms. Connect with a therapist. The Counseling Center is here to assist students with exploring their mental health symptoms and recommending resources available to offer support. JMU has also partnered with TimelyCare to offer free mental health support service access, this includes FREE scheduled counseling, psychiatric support, and 24/7 on-demand support amongst other services. Students can visit: to learn more, sign up, and start receiving support services through TimelyCare today!

It is important to remember that 24/7 emergency resources are always available for students experiencing a mental health emergency (e.g., thoughts or plans to kill yourself, thoughts of seriously harming others, recent sexual assault). Know that you are not alone.

Visit the Counseling Center’s resource pages for additional information about depression, and/or other mental health related topics.


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Published: Saturday, October 1, 2022

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 10, 2024

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