“I think hiring more mental health professionals is important, since there seems to be an inadequate amount of psychologists/psychiatrists for the population that needs them. I know that I would have sought mental health counseling earlier, and had stuck with it, if there wasn’t this pattern of counseling services being inaccessible. Hearing how other people had to wait whole semesters before mental health services contacted them post-intake appointment made me brush off any suggestion to go and seek out their services for myself. I picked up unhealthy coping mechanisms, and ultimately began to resent the entirety of my being on campus. I think not reaching out for services has greatly decreased my quality of life when I’m on campus and I think that it’s impacted my GPA because I’m unable to focus on my classes, and alternately feel too lethargic and too anxious to perform well. I think the University helps create the conditions which lead to acute mental duress, and the least they can do is provide the resources to help redress that. Lack of follow up with students means that for many, the only interaction with these services is the intake appointment itself, if they are even able to schedule one. I’m not able to attend or receive mental health services outside of campus, because my parents don’t really believe in the need for mental health services, and because it’s not covered by our insurance plan, and it seems I’m not really able to access those same services on campus either.”

Jason Contino, he/him/his, 2021, Pauli Murray