National Mental Health Awareness Week: Dealing with Stress

Are you stressed?

A recent American College Health Survey found stress, sleep problems, anxiety, depression, interpersonal concerns, death of a significant other and alcohol use among the top ten health impediments to academic performance.

Being a pharmacy student can be exhausting!  There’s a lot of pressure to be exceptional academically, personally, and professionally.  Taking some time for yourself each week is incredibly important so that you don’t burn out.

What can you do?  Set aside time to relax and recuperate! Create a positive state of mind to foster creativity, stress relief, and connectedness with your support groups.

Try these stress management tips:

  • Recognize the warning signs of stress, such as anxiety, irritability and muscle tension so that you can step back if you have too much on your plate
  • Learn problem-solving skills so that you can anticipate challenges and cope with setbacks
  • Practice relaxation skills, such as yoga, stretching, massage, deep breathing or meditation
  • Engage in regular physical activity or exercise
  • Eat well and limit alcohol and caffeine
  • Get adequate sleep – make it a priority!
  • Get encouragement from supportive friends, family, and mentors
  • Don’t be afraid to take a break and breathe
  • If you ever feel like you need help – please reach out!

If you are experiencing personal problems or situational crises, please contact:

  • The College of Pharmacy Office of Student Services: Room 150 Parks Hall (614-292-5001)
  • OSU Counseling and Consultation Services (614-292-5766) for assistance, support and advocacy (this service is free and confidential)
    • Visit for additional information on their services, including group counseling and workshops
    • Open 9a-4p M-F
    • CCS services are free up to 10 sessions per academic year, and those with student insurance are eligible to be seen with a co-pay thereafter

Each student has a student mentor that is specifically trained to help you cope with all the stress that being a pharmacy student might bring.  Also, all the faculty at the College of Pharmacy are caring and understanding.  They really want students to be healthy and happy so that they can perform at their maximum potential.  In the Office of Student Affairs, Joe Orozco ( and Kelly Crum ( are available resources.  We also have an on-site counselor at the Student Affairs office, Shawn Levstek, Psy.D.  Shawn presents programs geared toward improving stress management, improving coping mechanisms, and overall wellness, and is at our college on Tuesdays and Friday, located in 138B Parks Hall. If you are interested in counseling or have any questions for him, contact Dr. Levstek by email anytime at

The Ohio State University College of Medicine has a list of Columbus Community Mental Health Resources on their website.

If you need immediate assistance:

  • Life threatening emergencies
    • Go to nearest ER or call 911
  • Suicidal Ideation
    • Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
    • 24/7 suicide hotline at 1-800-784-2433
    • Columbus hotline 614-221-5445
    • OSU Emergency Dept. 614-293-8333
  • Netcare Access Crisis Hotline: 24 hour mental health and substance abuse intervention 614-276-2273

Special thanks to Kiersten Pasternak for the mental health resource information.

And as always, I’m here and happy to help.  Email me at!


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