EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – This month is Mental Health Awareness month. It’s also final exam week for many college students which can have an effect on their mental health.

Staying focused and making it through final exams is one of the toughest challenges many college students face during finals week.

Many students start to feel the pressure of final exams about a month before exams even start. Some even lose lack of sleep, but lack of sleep affects your memory, mood, and ability to process information. Thus, creating and worsening mental health problems.

Dr. Merranda Marin, a clinical psychologist, says it’s very important for students to take care of their mental health for their overall well-being.

“I think it’s important for them to take care of themselves, their mental health because there’s so much pressure that has happened throughout the semester… and so it’s important to take care of themselves so that they don’t get sick at the end of the semester,” Marin said.

Some of the ways she says students can cope with the pressure are by giving themselves small breaks in between studying for finals, practicing deep breathing exercises, and going for walks.

Ana Garcia, who is a senior at the University of Texas at El Paso, says this time of the semester can be overwhelming and stressful but it’s important for students to manage and prioritize their time.

“Your mental health goes first. Like over everything else. Sure, grades are important like having an education is important like if you don’t have a stable mental state, you can not achieve anything you want,” Garcia said.

Dr. Marin also indicates that there are signs students should look out for if they ever feel they do need to seek help.

“When you start to notice a real difference in patterns of behavior, things that maybe you used to enjoy doing that you really don’t enjoy doing anymore,” Marin said.

If you would like to seek out mental health services at NMSU, click here, and for Utep, click here.

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