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Pride Center Students Talk About Coping

Interview with student Sean McKinty

What is your experience with mental health?

I've been mentally ill my whole f-ing life, I have clinical depression and ADHD. The depression pretty much rules my life. Most of the time I skip class because I feel so tired. Once, I stayed in bed for three days.

What type of support do you receive from the LGBTQ community for your mental illness?

I wouldn’t say I receive any support. I guess I’m happier when I’m here. It’s better than being at home.

How do you feel professors treat trans people here on campus?

Like everybody else. I go in and say “Hey, this is my name,” and I put my name on the roster in parenthesis. There’s no problem. If they say something like “she,” I’ll correct them and they say, “I’m sorry.”

What are some coping skills you use?

Humor, just making fun of myself.

Do you feel that there’s help on campus when you need it?

Probably at the counselor’s office. I’ve only been there once.

Is there anything Delta can change to help students with mental health needs?

There are resources but they’re not easy to access. You have to actually ask the counseling staff for those resources. Tell people where they can get help instead of having to search for it. The only reason I know where the resources are is because I had a mental breakdown and went to the counselor’s office.

Yes, you absolutely shouldn’t have to have a mental breakdown to get the help you need.

So, I’d say make it more available.

Interview with student Basile Lake

What is your experience with mental health?

I suffer from anxiety and I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was a kid. And now I'm diagnosed with general anxiety disorder. This is part of my therapy, coming to college and interacting with people, since I pretty much isolated myself from people since I was 17 till now so, it’s been awhile. I'm 31 now.

Do you feel like there is a supportive community for mental health here on campus?

Yes, in this room — the Pride Center. When I first walked in, it was like one of the first places I didn't feel any anxiety. Normally when I go anywhere or talk to anybody there’s that low level of anxiety or high level of anxiety.

What are some coping skills you use?

Meditation. I count backwards from a really high number by an abstract number like from 1000 to 3. That way my mind is engaging in something else and I'm not freaking out. Or I'll have music playing at a low level, where I can still hear the person talking but I have something else I’m focusing on as well.

Who do you turn to for help?

My mom, and my step mom. And they help to support me, so I'm not freaking out all the time. If I have a freak out episode, whether it’s about something as minor as going to the store or as major as studying for a test, I can talk to them and they can calm me down.

How could Delta help with mental illness or of being LGBT?

A licensed therapist on campus to help talk to the students not just for LGBT but in general to students.

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