Personal Wellness

Wellness & Mental Health

You deserve to thrive, not just survive. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, not even yourself. You deserve to discover, develop, and share your passion and full potential with others, like fellow students, family, friends, co-workers, and the community at-large. You deserve to make your dreams and dream-job a reality. And you have the right to feel good doing it.

Being in college is not easy. It can be very stressful. We understand. Students who attend North Central (NC) State College often have challenging life circumstances and responsibilities—like work, family, parenting, caregiving, and military service. You might also have struggles with money, housing, transportation, childcare, health and medical conditions, and mental health needs, among others.

You are not alone. Let’s work together. NC State can help you develop self-care practices and social connections that will not only enhance your academic success now but also your ongoing success as a lifelong learner and a leader in whatever you choose to do. To help you thrive, let’s start by paying attention to your whole self, which includes the health and wellness of your body, mind, and interpersonal relationships.

  • There are many good habits, practices, and activities for maintaining wellness and health and recovering balance when you feel a little off-your-game or stressed. There’s no way to list them all. But here are a few to consider:

    • Social Connection
      • Be kind to yourself and others
      • Be curious and ask questions
      • Listen without judgement of yourself and others
      • Engage in face-to-face conversations (not just text messages, emails, and social media posts) with others, especially family, friends, fellow students, faculty, and co-workers
      • Feel and express peace, joy, gratitude, appreciation, and love
      • Speak your truth honestly and respectfully
      • Connect with people and places that feel safe and leave those that feel unsafe
    • Sleep
      • Rest deeply and regularly
      • Go to bed and wake at the same times every day
      • Include quiet and calm activities before sleep
      • Avoid caffeine after 12 pm
    • Nutrition
      • Drink water and other healthy fluids with little to no sugar, caffeine, or alcohol
      • Eat healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables
      • Pack a healthy snack of fruits and vegetables every day
      • Avoid fast-food, food from vending machines, and those with a lot of salt, sugar, saturated fat, partially hydrogenated oil, and wheat-based carbohydrates
    • Exercise
      • Move your body uninterrupted at least 20 minutes per day (e.g., walk, jog, dance, stretch, lift)
      • Take a walk during lunch and other breaks
      • Use stairs instead of elevators when you can
    • Mindfulness
      • Slow down
      • Breathe deeply and intentionally and settle into a natural, calm state
      • Plant your feet firmly on the floor or ground and notice your connection to the earth and its soothing energy
      • Be curious
      • Pay close attention to and enjoy what you are doing in the moment without judgement of self, others, and situations
      • Notice your feelings and thoughts without judgement
      • Accurately name your emotions to own the energy and use it for positive change
      • Honor your feelings of safety and danger and take action to care for yourself and others

  • Start by trusting yourself and how you feel physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. Talk to people you trust about the kind of life you want to live right now. There is power in connecting with others through honest face-to-face conversations. It enables you to hear yourself tell your story, speak your truth, sort your ideas, and connect the dots (your observations) that create solutions. You are the expert of yourself, but other people might have some feedback and insight about best practices that will help you find and maintain the balance you seek.

    NC State College has a partnership with Ohio State University (OSU)-Mansfield to provide students with access to a recreation center, recreational activities, and student groups through the department of Student Life & Engagement. NC State also has partnerships with local organizations that provide students with access to a variety of support. Make use of services, events, and groups that inspire, energize, and promote healthy living. Some examples of wellness activities and services include the following:

    • Intramurals
    • Bike-share program
    • Outdoor recreation
    • Fitness classes like karate, yoga, rock-out workouts, dance-based stretching
    • Mind-body meditation
    • Mindfulness stress reduction
    • Personal coaching and counseling
    • Crisis services for mental health emergencies
    • Disability services for chronic health conditions
    • Food pantry, childcare services, counseling services, and transportation subsidies
    • Student groups and organizations
    • Veterans’ groups and organizations

  • For personal issues, all students* who are currently registered in for-credit classes have access to on-campus mental health counselors and to resources like the food pantry, childcare services, and transportation subsidies. We also provide referrals to off-campus community services that can help you through a job loss or layoff, a reduction in income, a housing crisis, legal concerns, and emergency repairs for your car.

    For academic issues, you have access to success coaches, academic liaisons, tutors, and other staff who can help you with academic planning, study skills, time management, financial aid, work study, career services, and much more.

    You may also find help from fellow students through student organizations and student groups like NAMI on Campus.

    * Editor’s Note: Middle school and high school students enrolled at NC State through the College Credit Plus (CCP) or College-NOW programs should contact their middle- or high-school counseling or health departments for mental health services.

  • Yes. All students* who are currently enrolled in for-credit classes at NC State are eligible for the free on-campus Student Assistance Program (SAP), which is administered by licensed counselors and social workers from New Directions counseling center in Mansfield, Ohio. All services are confidential, which means SAP staff protect your identity and any information you choose to share about yourself: they do not provide that information to anyone else, not even your family. SAP provides assessment, brief counseling, and referral services for a wide range of concerns. Examples include the following:

    • College adjustment
    • Test anxiety
    • Basic-needs assessment (e.g., food, housing, transportation, healthcare, childcare, personal safety)
    • Emotional health
    • Social stressors & universal stressors (e.g., global pandemic, racial injustice, police reform, public safety, political uncertainties)
    • Relationships (building and maintaining safe and trusting relationships)
    • Domestic violence
    • Gender and sexual identity
    • Parenting
    • Finances
    • Legal concerns
    • Veterans’ issues

    Counselors and therapists also help students with various emotional and mental health issues. Examples include the following:

    • Stress
    • Anxiety
    • Social anxiety
    • Panic attacks
    • Depression
    • Relationship difficulties
    • Eating disorders
    • Substance abuse
    • Suicidal thoughts
    • Episodes of intense emotions, obsessive thoughts, mental health symptoms, or psychosis
    • Trauma experiences (being a witness to or victim of violence and other forms of physical or emotional assault and neglect)
    • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
    • Much more

    * Editor’s Note: Middle school and high school students enrolled at NC State through the College Credit Plus (CCP) or College-NOW programs should contact their middle- or high-school counseling or health departments for mental health services.

  • The first thing you can do is be a good friend. Be present. Be kind. And listen without judgement. You can also validate their feelings, appreciate their courage, and refer them to sources of support: this approach was developed by a national student-to-student support organization called Active Minds. The approach is called the “3 V-A-R Steps: Validate, Appreciate, Refer.” We include it below because we believe in its power to help.

    • Validate their feelings. Let them know that what they are feeling is okay and that you believe in them. Validate sounds like this:
      • “I believe you.”
      • “That makes sense.”
      • “That sounds difficult.”
      • “I’m sorry you are struggling right now.”
    • Appreciate their courage. Speaking up about personal challenges and pain can be a challenging step. Let them know it’s a good one. Also show you are there to support them. Affirmation sounds like this:
      • “Thank you for sharing.”
      • “Thank you so much for talking to me. That took a lot of courage.”
      • “You are not alone.”
      • “I’m here for you.”
    • Refer them to skills and support. Let them know help is available and refer them to appropriate resources. Refer sounds like this:
      • “I’ve been using this meditation app. It’s really helped me slow down my thoughts.”
      • “I think it might be helpful to talk to someone. I can stay with you while we call/text a hotline.”
      • “Sometimes taking time for self-care and listening to a comedy podcast helps me. Can we do that together?”

  • For more information, consult the “Resources” link at the top of this page.