Although I am an FGLI student, things at home during coronavirus were pretty stable. But I saw many of my peers struggling to survive during this time, especially with housing instability. Many students during this time were living off of their housing refunds. It’s disappointing how much students have to pressure the university in order to achieve the bare minimum. Before COVID, I had an urgent mental health situation, but wasn’t able to get an intake appointment for two months. If I hadn’t gone to my cultural house dean, who helped me get quicker access to therapy, who knows what would have happened. Even with her help, my intake appointment was still two weeks out. During this time, I considered looking for therapy outside of Yale, but I didn’t have non-Yale health insurance and didn’t understand how that would have worked. Having short and sparse therapy appointments made therapy feel ineffective for me.

Eliminating the SIC would be a huge relief. The biggest change for me would be lowering therapy wait times, because then I would actually feel that the university is supportive of me as a student. After hearing that finding a therapist at Yale MH&C is so difficult, and finding one that meets preferences based on things like race is even harder, I didn’t even try to find a therapist based on my preferences. Meeting all of these demands would make a huge difference for students like me.

Ricardo Aguilar, he/him, 2022, Pierson