College is often referred to as the best four years of your life: meeting new people, joining new clubs, and experiencing true independence for the first time. While college offers new opportunities, it also brings new challenges that many students have trouble facing on their own. Students’ mental health should be prioritized. Due to a lack of on-campus resources, insufficient funding, and stigma surrounding conversations around mental health, students often end up struggling more than they should. One such student was Andrew Collins.
Andrew was a bright and funny young man who dreamed of becoming an oncologist. His first semester of college was full of ups and downs. Andrew joined a fraternity, made many friends, and enjoyed his studies. He was not, however, immune to the stress of college life. Soon after his first semester, Andrew began suffering from depression. Suddenly the guy who everybody loved became apathetic and withdrawn. Less than two months later, he took his own life.
We saw other students begin to go down a similar path, and when seeking out help from their colleges' mental health services, were unable to receive the support they needed. Help should not be difficult to obtain. We did not want to see other students suffer the same way that Andrew did, so we decided to do something about it.
Thus, The Andrew Collins Project was founded. The goal of our organization is to raise awareness about mental health disorders in college students, reduce the stigma around seeking help, and to provide cost-effective counseling opportunities for those in need of support. Every student deserves access to mental health resources that allow them to experience college to the fullest extent. We at The Andrew Collins Project plan to make this happen.