3 Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health in School

Between globally uncertain times, ever-evolving information, and the regular pressures of assignments and tests, 2020 has not been an easy year for students.

“We’re proud of how we’ve been able to transition to virtual and physically-distanced classes for this semester, but it’s certainly come with a new set of challenges,” said Megan Scanlan, coordinator of student activities at McHenry County College (MCC). “We know that socialization among students outside of classes is just as important as what’s happening inside the classroom, so throughout this year, it’s been equally important for us to focus on ways we can safely continue these critical opportunities for connection.”

There are many ways students can take care of their mental and social health using available resources at the College:

  • Get involved. Participating in college-wide events, clubs, or organizations helps students enhance their skills, develop new relationships, and deepen their connection to the College. MCC has about 20 student organizations that are meeting virtually this semester. If students are interested in joining a club, they can contact the Student Life Office at stulife@mchenry.edu or (815) 455-8550. All currently active student organizations are listed at www.mchenry.edu/studentlife.
  • Utilize mental health resources. Many students are facing challenges that are affecting their mental health. “Reaching out for help is a sign of strength,” said Rachel Boldman, Director of Crisis Intervention and Prevention Services at McHenry County College. MCC students can access free virtual tutoring through the Sage Learning Center or meet with a counselor through the College’s Office of Crisis Intervention and Prevention. Stress relief workshops are planned around the time of midterms, and throughout the semester students can attend open Q&A sessions. The College is also able to connect students to a variety of community resources, including their partnership with the Crystal Lake Food Pantry for any students and their families facing food insecurity. Students in need should call (815) 479-7700 or email studentsupport@mchenry.edu to connect to someone who can help.
  • Take a break. Appreciate and acknowledge that you are doing your best in uncertain and unprecedented times. Regularly practice breathing exercises (available for free on YouTube), try grounding techniques, or download a meditation app such as Calm or Headspace. Keep open and ongoing communications with your teachers or counselors if you are struggling.

For more information about MCC’s student resources, visit www.mchenry.edu/success.