Former Student Government President Shares Resources for Mental Health

Brandon Henderson stepped back from opportunity with positive results

Brandon Henderson stepped away from his role as UMKC Student Government Association president to focus on his mental health in 2020. Nearly a year later, he thinks it was the best decision.

In hindsight, does stepping away from SGA seem like the right decision?

I am very glad that I stepped down as SGA president, and I have absolutely no regrets doing so. It gave me the space I needed to get healthier and get my academics back on track. I am 100% certain that I wouldn't have made the Dean's List last semester if I hadn't stepped down.

Have the lessons you learned during that challenging time stuck with you?

I learned last year that I'm not Superman, and I have to prioritize taking care of myself if I want to help others, too. Now that I've gotten healthier, I'm getting more involved in my community again. But in the back of my mind, I know that I must be very intentional about how much time I allocate to my extracurricular activities.

What coping mechanisms did you adopt last year that are still helping?

Something I learned last year was the importance of keeping an accurate calendar. Not only does it help me remember things, but I can visually see where I'm budgeting my time to things other than myself. That helps me avoid overextending myself.

If someone were feeling overwhelmed, what resources would you recommend to them?

I highly recommend scheduling a visit with UMKC's Counseling Services. Even if you think you don't need it, or that it won't work for you, if you're feeling any signs of burnout just try to visit with a counselor at least twice.

Often people don't want to talk about personal issues with their friends, but everyone needs someone to vent to. If you don't have that someone, then I highly recommend you go visit Counseling Services and find that someone! 

You’re finishing up your degree this semester. How does that feel? 

It feels equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking, but nevertheless I am ready to cross the finish line. I've been a college student for the last four years, so it will be quite an adjustment to transition out of that. I'm looking forward to seeing what this new phase of my life has in store for me.

Published: Sep 22, 2021

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