Mental Health Support on Campus

Mental Health Support on Campus

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Beth Beaudry, Contributing Writer

Mental illness is a growing issue across college campuses. More students are speaking about their mental health issues and are encouraging college campuses to provide more resources.

An article in Forbes magazine said, “According to a report by Penn State University’s Center for Collegiate Mental Health, counseling center utilization by college students across the U.S. increased by an average of 30-40% while enrollment increased only by 5%.”

The University of New Haven has the Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) for counseling. ARC is located in the lower level of Sheffield Hall, where you can enter from the back of the building. The center offers counseling and psychological services for mental illness, relationship problems, substance abuse, and any other concerns, and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday. To make an appointment, call (203)-932-7333.

In addition to the counseling center, there are clubs that focus on helping students dealing with mental health issues.

The club Active Minds, which started last year, encourages students to talk about their mental health issues, and to find resources. The executive board of the organization has resources to the Milford Rape Crisis Center and hotlines for suicide and domestic violence. They also keep their email and contact information open to students who want to talk privately about their issues. From there, the E Board can direct them to whichever counseling service they feel best fits the issue. Each club meeting begins with a check-in on the attendees. It is a chance to share how they are doing. This makes the club meetings safe and helps the attendees feel comfortable.

“We are educating our student body on what mental illness is and ways to better help yourself,” said Eric Moore, a junior forensic science major and vice president of Active Minds. “We want to destigmatize mental health as a whole. We want people to bring up topics that are uncomfortable.”

Moore said that an important change on campus this semester is the use of the university’s courtesy vans. Now, if students need rides to an off campus resource center or Yale Medicine, the courtesy vans will take them for free. Courtesy vans can be found in the school parking lots, typically coming every five minutes between 7 a.m. to midnight Monday through Friday. All courtesy vans schedules can be found on MyCharger.

Active Minds meets at 6 p.m. on Thursdays in the Bartels Student Activity Center (BSAC). The club’s email is [email protected]

To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) is another club resource. TWLOHA is a non-profit organization that aims to raise awareness and help students dealing with depression, self-harm, addiction, and other mental health issues. TWLOHA often tables in Bartles and gives stress balls, positivity jars, and emergency hotline numbers. If a student needs information on the hotline numbers or resource centers on or off campus, TWLOHA can connect them. If a student feels more comfortable talking to a peer, the executive board has contact information open to all, allowing any student to reach out for guidance.

Communication major Rebecca Karaman, president of TWLOHA said, “We want students to know that their story is important and that we care about them. We are students like them and they can come to us.”

TWLOHA’s email is [email protected] The organization meets 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays in Maxcy 226.

Between the counseling center, Active Minds, To Write Love on Her Arms, and off-campus centers, there are plenty of resources for students dealing with mental health issues.