U-M Counseling and Psychological Services

Mental health has been defined as:

  • the successful performance of mental function, resulting in productive activities
  • fulfilling relationships with other people
  • the ability to adapt to change and cope with adversity or difficult life situations

Although different cultures have differing expectations for health, many of the following characteristics are likely to be present in individuals with good mental health:

  • a sense of well-being and contentment
  • self-confidence and self-esteem
  • the ability to enjoy life, to laugh and have fun
  • being able to deal with life’s stresses and bounce back from adversity with some resiliency
  • the ability to change, grow, and experience a range of feelings, as life’s circumstances change
  • the ability to care for oneself and for others

Warning Signs of Mental Illness

Changes in feelings such as fear and anger are a normal part of life. Personal situations, such as a divorce, loss of a job, or strained relationships with family or friends can cause emotional stress, thus making a person feel sad or blue. These are not unusual reactions. However symptoms that last longer than 2-3 weeks require attention.


Thoughts of death or suicide are usually signs of severe depression. It is believed that major life transitions (such as leaving home and family and peer supports to attend college — an unfamiliar environment with higher academic standards) may intensify present psychological distress or trigger new mental distress.

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Sexual Violence

Sexual Violence 

Every 2 1/2 minutes somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted. It is one of the most experienced, yet least talked about common concerns across college and university campuses today. If you know someone who has been sexually harassed, or have been sexually harassed yourself, you are not alone.

Body Image

Food for Thought: Body Image Do’s & Do Not's Body Image Do’s

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