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Counselors see a rise in mental health issues among college students

By Eddie Rosales


EL PASO — With college enrollment constantly increasing, the number of students with mental health issues on college campuses has also gone up.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) estimates that anxiety, depression and general stress are on the rise. In 2012 “more than 25 percent of college students have been diagnosed or treated by a professional for a mental health condition within the past year,” according to NAMI.

These are individuals who come into university and find themselves dealing with “stress, relationships, and adjusting to college life,” which happen to be some of the major issues weighing on student’s minds at The University of Texas at El Paso, says Cecilia Holguin, a licensed clinical social worker and one of several counselors at the University Counseling Center.

A major problem for these students is a lack of awareness that help is nearby. “We always try to do outreach. We go to UNIV classes and we go to the health fairs. We were at Love Your Body Week, the career fairs and we present to sororities and fraternities,”

Holguin said that professors and other university faculty should be able to refer any student in need to the counseling center.

“Some students may not associate the UCC with personal counseling. It’s still very taboo, or they are just not ready,” Holguin said.

There may also be a stigma attached to seeking help, she explained. Some students may believe that only “crazy people” need counseling. But regardless of the shame students may feel, at UTEP there has been a significant rise in the number of cases at the UCC.

Sherri Terrell, Ed.D. psychologist and director of the UCC, said that in the past decade she has seen the number of individuals coming into the center go up every year. She explained…

Featured Photo: College students all over the nation experience higher levels of stress-related metal health issues. Counselors at The University of Texas at El Paso try to encourage students to seek help early on. (Photo by Elliot Torres/

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