The recent, tragic loss of USD student Jeff Haeder has drawn attention to the health and well-being of students. With this tragedy, final projects due and finals coming up, it is easy for students to feel overwhelmed.
It is worth the time to take a break from work and studies to spend time with friends not only for fun, but also for the well-being of you, your friends and family.
The holiday season and winter break are a great time to reconnect with friends. Those human connections are essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Because of your relationships with your friends, you are often in the best position to notice if they begin behaving differently. If you suspect that a friend or family member may be exhibiting symptoms of depression, you are in the best position to help them or get them the help they need.
The symptoms of depression make it difficult to realize if you or someone you know may be depressed. Commercials for antidepressants and online evaluations are often worded in such a way that almost anyone could be
considered depressed. Don’t let this deter you from finding help for yourself or loved ones — it is better to get help that may not be needed rather than let depression go untreated.
It is important to note that only a doctor can diagnose people with depression, but you don’t have to be depressed to feel overwhelmed by the pressures of school or of life.
It’s not always easy to talk to friends and family about their feelings. The Student Counseling Center offers free and confidential counseling services to any University of South Dakota student who wants someone to talk to. If you can’t talk to a friend you suspect is having problems, tell them to consider calling the
It doesn’t matter if they’re upset because they failed a test, their partner ended their relationship or anything else — if they need someone to talk to, contact the Counseling Center. It’s an invaluable resource.
Take care of them if someone comes to you to talk about their feelings, especially if they say they are feeling depressed. A good friend will listen,
console and help to the best of their ability, but a great friend will realize when professional help should be brought in. Don’t be afraid to accept help from the people who care about you, even if it means seeking professional aid.
The students, faculty and staff at USD are a family. A family takes care of its members and wants them to be healthy, happy and successful. USD has all of the tools in place to make sure all the members of its family are taken care of. It is up to all of us, as members of this community, to make sure that we take care of each other.
There are numerous sources available on and off campus for students who need help or know someone who may need help. President Abbott sent an email to students, faculty and staff with the following advice: If you believe a member of our community is an imminent threat to him/herself or others, please contact the University Police Department at 605-677-5342 immediately.
If you are not on the Vermillion campus or are unsure how to proceed, call 911. Please note that under these circumstances, safety is the primary concern. Other issues such as confidentiality
If you believe an individual is a threat to him/herself or others but the threat is not imminent, please contact the Dean of Students Office 605-677-5331. If the threat is outside of work hours, please contact University Police 605-677-5342. University Police staff will help reach the appropriate resources.
The University and Vermillion community have resources to help individuals deal with depression, anxiety, or family issues. If you are concerned about a student, faculty or staff member, please refer to the list: Helpline 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-273-8255, Helpline 1-800-SUICIDE 1-800-784-2433, USD Counseling Center 605-677-5777, Office of the Dean of Students 605-677-5331, University Police 605-677-5342, Vermillion Police 911 or 605-677-6070.
Take care of each other the rest of the semester and over winter break. Whether you return to campus next semester or go on to another school or a career, there are people who care about you, want you to be happy and will help you if you
should need it.