Upon arriving at Yale I was immediately bombarded with a slew of mental health resources—there’s The Good Life Center, groups like Hack Mental Health, an undergraduate publication about mental health, and seemingly endless events during reading period to help me relax. While I appreciate the breadth of resources available, it’s clear to me that they are all trying to fill a gaping yet simple void: a dearth of access to medical mental health services. For me, the rhetoric that bean bag chairs, stress balls, and donut-filled study breaks can somehow be a panacea for mental health problems has been harmful. To date I have not pursued care through YHMC because (1) I know that intake times are very long, but (2) the commodification of mental health resources has diluted the seriousness of stress, anxiety, or depression and has created a feeling where I simply believe that my problems are not worthy of a true mental health expert. If Yale wants its students to be comfortable finding mental health resources, they should normalize asking for care from YMHC by reducing intake time so that on-campus groups and events don’t have to feign providing mental healthcare.
Kapp Singer, he/him, GH ’21