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Mental Health Resources: Mental Health 101

Resources in the Library, on Campus, and beyond

Aloha Kākou

Hawaiian plant photoThis guide was created during Spring Semester 2020 by Information Specialist and MLISc graduate student, Catherine Thrasher, and is maintained by the librarians at HonCC Library. 
The information contained in this guide is for the sole purpose of being informative and is not to be considered complete, and does not cover all issues related to mental health. If you believe you or another individual is suffering a mental health crisis, please contact your doctor or seek medical assistance immediately.

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Mental Health, Mental Wellness, Mental Illness?

What is the Difference between Mental Illness and Mental Health?

Mental Illness: Medical disorder affecting brain function that cause changes in emotion thinking or behavior. These changes negatively affect the person’s ability to function in social, work, and/or family situations

Mental Health: Term referring to the psychological state of a person. (with or without a mental illness) It is used to talk about how people are feeling and functioning in daily life. Being able to deal with changes, maintain healthy relationships, and stay on top of schoolwork or your job are part of maintaining good mental health.

Mental Wellness: Term used for talking about a person's overall mental state over a period of time. It is sometimes used interchangeably with Mental Health, and often used when referring to activities meant to improve mental health.

Self Care for College Students

Just like you schedule time to attend lectures and office hours, you can develop a self-care routine during the school week.  It can be simple five minute periods throughout the day or an entire block of time- whatever is the easiest for you!

    Some ideas include:

  • Practice mindfulness exercises in the classroom such as senses all around and deep breathing
  • Take a hike with a friend
  • Get lunch with a classmate
  • Talk to your parents, friends, or a significant other
  • Get eight hours of sleep
  • Volunteer at a local animal shelter
  • Write in a journal

Take a step back when things gets too overwhelming

It is okay to recognize that during college there are times when everything seems too overwhelming.  Don’t be afraid to talk to professors about assignment extensions or extra help.  They want you to succeed and often times are flexible when you express interest in the class.  It’s better to turn in an assignment late than to try to push yourself beyond your limits.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to resources

It is okay to reach out for the help you deserve.  College campuses offer resources such as disability and counseling services to help the student population.  Making a habit to attend individual and/or group therapy is a great way to prioritize your mental health.  Also, counseling services on campuses commonly offer workshops and groups regarding stress management, test anxiety, and healthy lifestyle habits.  If you are unsure about attending workshops alone- take a friend!  This is a great way to discuss stress management and trade tips!

Recognize your wellbeing is more important than a grade

When I was really struggling with my mental health during my freshman year of college I noticed a severe drop in my grades.  Instead of prioritizing my mental health by practicing self-care and utilizing resources I attempted to ignore my struggles, took on a more strenuous course load, and tried even harder in my classes  In reality, my performance decreased even further.  For the longest time I only associated my self-worth with my grades.  After making the decision to go to counseling and psychological services and addressing my mental health concerns, I finally recognized the importance of taking care of my mental health as a college student.  After a couple of semesters in college I was able to change my unhealthy mentality.

Your worth as a human being is not solely dependent on an exam score.  It never will be.  Sometimes you need to consciously remind yourself this throughout the semester.

This information was adapted from


None of what is suggested or recommended herein is meant as medical advice.

  • Only a physician can diagnose a mental illness, and mental health professionals can work towards a treatment plan with those in need.

New information is discovered daily...

It is considered a "best practice" to use the most current research and scholarly publications available. For physical sciences like psychiatry and neurology, the standard is information from the last 2-3 years. In psychology and behavioral health that standard is extended to 5 years.

This guide aims to provide the most current material available. As with all medical information, it is best to verify all source material for credible and accurate reporting.

Finding Treatment

If you feel like you may have more than just the regular amount of anxiety, stress, or sadness you may want to get a Mental Health Screening and see a Psychiatrist or other Mental Health Professional.

You are not Alone!!

1 in 5 people over 18 will experience mental illness in their lifetime. 

Many of these people won't seek treatment because of stigma. But mental illness is a medical condition like diabetes, cancer, or high cholesterol. But the good news is, it is much more treatable than some of those diseases. 

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