How to Deal with Mental Health

As we are entering the darker months and getting into the swing of things, many students are struggling with mental health. This can be presented in many forms, including, anxiety, depression, ADHD, and OCD disorders. All that can take a toll on our mental health which can affect one’s school life. Learning to put your mind to ease can make your life significantly less stressful.

Anxiety and depression affect many people, while you are suffering your close friend or classmate may be in the same boat as you. It is reported that 76% of students in Washington state have had academic difficulties due to emotional or mental health issues. Students on EvCC campus may not know the direction they need to find help. Here at EvCC, there are people to help you feel better, listen, and understand. It is imperative to understand that money, embarrassment, and time should not play into a factor of you being able to get the help you need.

Courtesy photo from Kristi Leksen

Kristi Leksen, a counselor at EvCC, talks to students and helps find them longer-term care. Sitting down and talking to Kristi, she says, “I welcome students and find out what is on their mind, that may be something that needs to be taken care of right now that gets handled.” Her priority is making sure students have a safe place to explore their feelings and allow them to feel validated, which is what a lot of young adults need. She also mentions, “I give students pages with lists of coping mechanisms for anxiety and depression.” While you may not know what is right for you, there are people here trained to practice and give you the correct box of tools to overcome these challenges you are facing in your academic life, career or even with personal issues.

Understanding that there is a huge stigma with talking about how you feel to others, and having the shame of being embarrassed, is normal. Feeling stressed and overworked is normal. It is important to understand that your feelings are valid, and here at EvCC, counselors are working to make you feel better and live a happier life as you are sharing that with a college experience. Give yourself a break, and congratulate yourself for the small wins.

During times of Covid, counseling is held in Gray Wolf Hall. (EvCC)


While Kristi can be seen, she also has shared a few strategies to help college students feel at more ease with themselves while enduring the hardships of being a college student. “Try to find a balance and prioritize your mind and body. Exercise, eat food and sleep well, and do things that bring you joy.” Says Kristi. In-person she can offer more grounding techniques to calm anxiety and depression.

Kristi offers great advice and is available to be talked to in-person, or over zoom and is able to accommodate with many schedules. You can visit her by going to the EvCC website or clicking this link ( ) to get more information on where you can be seen. Know that you are not alone and there is help available.