Last December, I had the opportunity to work with people living with mental health concerns in Montego Bay, Jamaica. This experience was made possible through the Alternative Break Program. The Committee for Uplifting the Mentally Ill (CUMI) hosted our volunteers over the course of a week. We had the opportunity to relate mental health care in Jamaica and in America. Here are a few of the things I learned:
Mental health concerns are similar regardless of geographic origin.
The concerns of the mentally ill population within Montego Bay, Jamaica are extremely similar to what students express on our college campus. Most people living with mental illness in Jamaica struggle with stress and anxiety. These same concerns are commonly reported by college students.
Mental health has become a global concern.
The growing burden of mental health is becoming a global concern. Most nations are reporting increased incidences of mental illness. By learning proper coping techniques, mental health can be managed. Underserved areas require these resources just like the majority population.
Most mental health concerns originate in adolescence.
Another similarity between Montego Bay and Georgia Southern was the age of the population. Most mental illnesses begin to present symptoms in adolescence. This was very apparent within the population of Montego Bay. Most people using CUMI’s services began attended adolescents or young adults.
Georgia Southern Cares!
Many of the support services offered at CUMI are available at Georgia Southern. Georgia Southern offers counseling services and programs that help combat mental health concerns. The counseling center offers courses on Emotional Wisdom on Mondays from 4:00pm to 5:00pm in the Health Services Room 2016 and Wednesdays from 5:00pm to 6:00pm in the Counseling Center. Emotional Wisdom is the practice of relaxation, mindfulness, and cognitive tools that help to combat anxiety or depression. These workshops can equip you with the tools needed to achieve mental wellness.
Moreover, the University Wellness Ambassadors post weekly blogs and events that educate students about different health topics. Check us out at our Health Hut or Worry-Free Wednesdays!