In my previous blog, I mentioned that I used free mental health resources on campus. Before seeking out for help I never even knew this type of help and resources existed. Yet, these free resources were essential to helping me to overcome depression. These resources may be free or low-cost at your university as well. So in this post, I want to share 3 free mental health resources on campus. My hope is that if you are experiencing severe depression, anxiety or mental illness that these will help you overcome and succeed in college.
Three Free Mental Health Resources on Campus
1. Psychologist and Counselors
One of the first mental health resources on campus that I utilized was counseling. I had begun to spiral towards rock bottom emotionally and was struggling with suicide ideation. At the time a close friend was doing free biofeedback for anxiety at the university’s counseling and wellness center. This friend knew I had been struggling emotionally but wasn’t sure how to help. Although she didn’t know what to say or how to act, she pointed me to free services that could help. Within the next week or so I had scheduled an appointment to meet with a counselor. Shortly after I also met with a psychiatrist and received my first formal diagnoses and prescription to help balance my moods. If you would like more information about my in-depth experience with counseling please comment below.
2. Support Groups
Once I had found a therapist I felt comfortable with I begun to unearth some unresolved trauma from my early teens. My counselor at the time let me know about a support group she oversaw and invited to me join. This group was very healing because it allowed me to bring my experience alive with words in a safe space.
3. Disability services
In last weeks post, I shared that I struggled to maintain my grades due to depression. Often time I had the low energy level and difficulty concentrating. My counselor knew this and informed me that I was eligible for assistive services through the disability resource center. This gave me access to note taking services from fellow students in my class, and extra time for test and assignments. This also informally helped me to be able to let my professors know that I wasn’t lazy but battling an invisible struggle.
(Bonus) Medical Withdrawal
This isn’t really a resource but it’s important to know about. In the middle of spring semester, I had fully hit rock bottom and my grades were on the verge of implosion. During this time I was so tired of living and saw my life as a hopeless black hole. Looking at past journal, I see that I felt like a failure like my life had no purpose and I would never make others proud. The day of my meltdown I called my sister Adenike. She helped me to realize I needed a step back from my reality. Not only that she opened up her home for me to stay with her. At this moment was I afraid of what leaving school mid-semester would do to my academic success. I immediately called my counselor and shared what I was going through. At this time the options of medical withdrawal were explained to me. What this meant was I could withdraw from my classes without a negative impact and come back to school once ready to return. This made my decision to leave easier, and within about two days I had submitted the paperwork and left school.
Find Help On Campus Today
My greatest advice would be to call and find out what mental health resources on campus are available for you. I attended the University of Florida, a public university, and had these 3 mental health resources available for free. These resources may not all be free or available at all universities. However, I want you to know there are resources that may be waiting for you at a low cost. Although everyone’s experiences are different, I truly believe there is hope for every unique situation. My hope is that you will find healing from depression in a way that works best for you. If you are suffering from severe mental illness or thoughts of suicide do not be afraid to take a break from school. Your life is so much more valuable than a piece of paper. As always, if you suffer from severe mental illness or thoughts of suicide I also want to encourage you to seek help today. Find a local therapist or contact the National Suicide Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255 or texting “START” to 741-741.
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