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

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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.



Suicide

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 does not discriminate. Both survivors and perpetrators come from all genders, cultures, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, socio-economic status, and religions. Sexual violence is defined as any unwanted sexual contact or interaction and can include:


Body Image

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

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