Mental Health

The first step in understanding what you are experiencing is to name and understand what it is.  Below, we have provided a list of common mental health and wellness issues we frequently observe among students.  If you recognize yourself in some of these descriptions you can call CAPS at 201-761-6420 to explore them further or speak with your primary care doctor.

Not all issues will require a therapeutic intervention which is why we also provided links under each topic area so you will have additional information and resources.  You can access more resources through our Mental Health and Wellness library by using your SPU email,  or through:


As humans we are always striving for balance, but when events happen in our life, good or bad, our balance is thrown off.  It is during those times that we work to make alterations or modifications in our life or our daily schedule in order to return to balance.  Sometimes adjusting can be hard; not knowing the right or best modifications to make can keep a person stuck and thrown off balance, increasing stress and anxiety.  Coming to college, starting internships, and graduating are all events that require adjustments in one’s life.  There are ways to adapt to change and counseling can help.

For some suggestions about adapting check out these links.


Grief is the emotional pain in response to a loss, but the loss is not limited to a person. Grief can be experienced with loss of a job, pet, health, place (moving), a breakup, and loss of dream or expectation, for example. Grief is a natural response to the loss of something important to you. It is experienced differently for different people, and differently for different losses. Processing a loss can take time and support, and there is no right or wrong way. However, counseling can help you cope with loss and learn ways to manage the emotional and physical impact of grief.

To understand more about grief and learn strategies for coping check out these links.

Time Management

Time management is a process of organizing and planning how to use your time in order to work “smarter, not harder”. Students’ lives are filled with many tasks, and therefore an essential tool for school and life is time management. Planning out your day or week keeps stress low because you have set aside time to get things done. Not being stressed means you won’t get overwhelmed and resort to procrastination, an avoidance behavior employed when things are perceived to be too much.

These links have concrete ideas for how to better arrange your time, and get things done.


Self- confidence is trusting in one’s ability, judgment, and qualities, while self-esteem is believing in one’s own worth. Self-confidence comes from adding to your skill sets and expanding your knowledge and understanding about things through life experiences. Improved self-esteem comes from valuing yourself and surrounding yourself with people who value and respect you as well. A lack of self-confidence can limit your ability to face challenges and achieve your goals. Healthy self-confidence allows you to take calculated risks, stand up for yourself and have a realistic view of your limitations. Healthy self-esteem or the capacity to love and like yourself fosters the competence to choose your values and beliefs.

Look at the links below for tools to improve both your self-confidence and self-esteem.


Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension in reaction to a demand or challenge. Stress is influenced by how we think about the demand or challenge, and our ability to meet it.  Stress can impact your body, mood, and behavior; it can interfere with sleep and appetite, and at times cause illnesses.

Managing stress is a skill that can be learned so check out the links below for more information.

Chronic stress or stress unmanaged can lead to burnout. For information about burnout, and what you can do about it, check out the links below.


We are social beings and made to connect with others. It can be difficult for some to build friendships, or know when relationships are healthy or detrimental. Communication is a key component to building relationships, and trust and respect for maintaining them.

If you want tips about relationships check the links below.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior, in an intimate relationship, where one person tries to dominate and control the other, which causes physical, psychological or sexual harm to those in that relationship. For more information, see below.


A pattern of behavior, focused on a particular person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their own safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress. Stalking can occur in person (following), through social media, or phone calls for example. The stalker could be someone you know, a former partner, an acquaintance or a stranger.  If you are in immediate danger, call 911to report a stalking related incident or threat.

For more information and helpful resources follow the links below:


Sleep is essential for the overall health and well-being of a person.  It is during sleep that our bodies repair and our brain rests, allowing us to function properly every day.  The life of a student can be a busy one, both mentally and physically, so proper sleep is necessary to focus and learn.  There are many things that can interfere with getting a good night’s sleep; stress, studying or doing homework, working, and trying to do too many things.  It is common for students to find the extra time they need by sacrificing sleep.

Read more to learn why sleep is so important and should not be compromised especially as a college student.


Loneliness is a state of mind that causes people to feel alone, forgotten, or unwanted even if there are other people around.  People who are lonely want human contact, but their state of mind makes it difficult for them to connect.  Negative thoughts that tell a person no one likes them or they are no good prevent a lonely person from reaching out.  Loneliness can be a symptom of depression, or low self-esteem – believing that one is unworthy of attention or friendships.  Transitioning to college is an adjustment which can cause feelings of loneliness. Even when one is surrounded by others, these feelings may still occur. Counseling can help you develop the confidence and skills to engage in a more fulfilling college experience.

Body Image

Body Image is a person’s emotional attitude, belief and perception about one’s own body, which can be negative or positive or aspects of both.  Body image is strongly influenced by family, culture, and society through the media. A negative body image can lead to behaviors often associated with disordered eating or eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia.

For more information and tips on how to improve body image check out the links below.

Emotional Regulation

Emotional Regulation is the ability to manage and cope with our emotions so we do not become overwhelmed by them, or react in unproductive ways because of them. If you find that you routinely get angry or irritated, upset or overwhelmed very quickly, and have a difficult time calming yourself, you could benefit from learning ways to regulate your emotions.  Check the links below for more information.


Everyone gets nervous or anxious at times, and it can be a normal and natural reaction to circumstances in our life; starting something new, taking a test, or meeting new people.  Some anxiety can be helpful because it heightens our senses and we become more alert and focused.  Too much anxiety however, can become problematic when it interferes with our ability to function.  Sometimes we know what is making us nervous and anxious, but some people can experience anxiety without any known triggers.  Regardless of the intensity of the anxiety or knowing the source, anxiety can be managed.

The links below provide more information and strategies for working with anxious symptoms.

More information on panic attacks.


Depression in college students can manifest itself in a variety of ways. It could cause one to feel irritable, angry, sad, unable to concentrate or make decisions, and unmotivated, to name a few. These symptoms, if left unaddressed, can lead to social, relationship, family, and academic problems.  A person can also experience physical pain (unexplained body aches), sleep or appetite problems, or can have suicidal thoughts. Depression is treatable and counseling can help.  For more information on depression check the links below.

More information about suicide.


Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible experience or experiences such as accidents, violence, disaster, or sexual assault.  Trauma can result from one event or repeated events or experiences.  A traumatic event can overwhelm a person’s coping skills causing a feeling of being helpless and unsafe.

To understand more about traumatic reactions and to learn effective ways of coping, follow the links below:

Mental Health Screening Tools

If you think you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health problem, use the resources below.   The screening results are not a diagnosis nor are they official medical advice.  Please bring your results to your medical provider for further discussion and evaluation or call CAPS at 201-761-6420 during regular business hours for an appointment.