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Psychological Health Overview

In an effort to help preserve the well-being of the Ohio University community, the content of this site provides answers to frequently asked questions about psychological health and the University's response to it.

What is mental health?

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, "Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood."

What is a mental disorder?

A mental disorder is a health condition that causes distress and disability and is normally characterized by change in an individual’s behavior, feelings or thoughts.

What are the signs or symptoms of a mental health problem?

Symptoms of a mental health problem depend on the severity and type of the condition. Some common signs or symptoms include:

  • Poor school performance
  • Unhealthy relationships
  • Mood swings or a change in personality
  • Signs of an eating disorder
  • Withdrawal from friends or activities
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • An increase in the use of drugs or alcohol
  • Talking or writing about suicide or death
How prevalent are mental health problems nationally?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older have a mental health disorder. Only about 6 percent suffer from a serious mental illness, and 45 percent of people affected with a mental disorder suffer from more than one mental disorder.

What should I do if I suspect someone has a mental health problem?

If you believe someone has a mental health problem, support them in getting assistance. Suggest that they complete an anonymous mental health screening self-assessment online through Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) or that they have a confidential conversation with a counselor at CPS or at the Psychology and Social Work Clinic.

Students can call Counseling and Psychological Services 24 hours a day/seven days a week at (740) 593-1616 to speak with a counselor. The CPS office welcomes walk-in appointments from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. CPS also provides consultation to faculty, administrators and parents of students.

What other University resources are available?

If you believe a person is at risk for serious harm due to their mental health, consult with a counselor at Counseling and Psychological Services, 337 Campus Care Center, 740-593-1616. In an emergency, contact the Ohio University Police Department, Scott Quad, 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 740-593-1911.

What are some ways to manage stress?

Some common ways to manage stress include:

  • Exercising 20 minutes a day
  • Eating healthy foods
  • Reducing the use of alcohol and drugs
  • Sleeping at least 7 hours a night
  • Talking to someone about your problems
  • Staying organized