I've always been the kind of person that hides their problems and shut downs whenever anyone asks me what is wrong. I've never really felt the need to find someone who I could go to when times got tough and I felt helpless. But over the years I've started to recognize that staying mentally fit is just as important as staying physically fit, and that I need an outlet for both.

When I got to college, I realized that getting help wasn't as stigmatized as it was in high school. In fact, my college advertises that over 70% of students will visit the counseling center during their four years of college. If that's not a sign of destigmatization around counseling and therapy, I don't know what is.

Faith Branch

We all know that it can be hard to reach out for help when it's needed. A lot of people, like me, see admitting to a lack of stable mental health as a sign of weakness. But it's actually the opposite.

Anyone who can admit to needed help shows a sign of strength, and doing so is the first step towards making a recovery. Here are some reasons why you should check out the counseling center on your campus.

You will never again get free counseling in your life.

Katie Cruz

Here's the deal: colleges, more often than not, are required to provide free counseling services for their students. These people will most likely be some of the most qualified and experienced counselors you will have the opportunity to meet with.

Not only have they met many college students who have gone through the same struggles as you, but they also have a specialized understanding of your environment and academics. These people are there specifically to help you, they love their jobs, and they're typically a local (and free!) resource.

Your mental health can affect your grades.

coffee, tea
Alexa Rojek

We get it, college is about having fun and Wine Wednesdays. But school is also about preparing yourself for the next steps of your life, and most of the time that means graduating and getting a job.

Grades are important my friends, and if you're too distracted by bad mental health, chances are your grades won't be too hot. Now might be the right time to get your mind and your grades out of the gutter.

They will talk to you about ANYTHING.

A lot of people think that you need to have extremely disruptive issues or diagnosed mental health issues such as depression or anxiety to see a counselor. But your mental health can also be affected by the loss of family or pets, a bad break-up, roommate struggles, friend drama, or just a bad grade that's stuck with you. Counselors know that small things can become big issues.

Both individual and group therapy sessions are available.

Some people find the idea of talking to one person for an hour about their problems incredibly intimidating. Other people find the idea of talking to a group about their problems terrifying. Luckily, there are many different options available to find what works best for you and your mental health. And did we mention it's usually free?

Mental health is the most important thing you can do for yourself.

I don't care what your parents, or your friends, or that stupid boy in high school said about therapy. It's time we all listen up. Mental health is more than depression or anxiety. It's about happiness and self-care. If you find yourself feeling stuck, or lost, or overwhelmed, reach out to someone. You've only got one brain, so take care of it.