OSU students combat mental illness stigmas with ‘I Will Help You’ Initiative

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death among adults and third leading cause for children in the United States, according to the CDC. Stigmas surrounding mental illness often prevent people who are suffering from getting help.

OSU nursing student seniors decided to help change that with a new program called the “I Will Help You Will Initiative”

On Tuesday, students started the conversation on mental illness with a parachute on the Oval. Their goal is to decrease stigmas and help those who are suffering in the shadows.

“For those people that are out there, they need to know that others are struggling with this as well,” said senior nursing student Nina Dluzynski. “They’re not alone.”

As a college student, she said they see and experience mental illness, a lot.

“College students don’t think that they have this diagnosed anxiety because everyone else struggles with it,” said Dluzynski.

“It’s so prevalent across campus and I feel like people might not always know what to do when they’re feeling that way or if they see a friend who is feeling that way,” said senior nursing student Erika Frey.

That’s why they’re making a pledge to help and asking others to do the same.

“They’re not alone,” said assistant professor Kate Gawlik. “One in five adults at some point will experience some kind of mental illness, most likely depression.”

Gawlik said sometimes college-age students don’t seek help, due to social stigmas.

“Undiagnosed and untreated depression is the number one reason and cause for suicide,” she said.

Gawlik said they want to help those suffering and show those who want to help, how to do so. They provide resources on their website, including short lectures and step-by-step information.

It’s free for anyone, not just OSU students.

“We’re all raising awareness for this issue because it is so prevalent,” said Dluzynski.

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