“Ever since I arrived at Yale as a freshman, I have heard horror stories of Yale Mental Health Services and how getting an appointment could take months. As someone who has struggled with anxiety and depression all throughout highschool, the transition to college was not easy for me. I am also on the Varsity Softball team, which as a freshman, added another level of stress that would have drastically benefitted from seeing a therapist. I always heard that it either wasn’t very beneficial or it took so long to get an appointment that it wasn’t even worth getting an evaluation. This completely deterred me from reaching out for help, and I truly believe that my mental health suffered as a result. In addition to Yale’s reputation with regards to mental health services, my schedule as a varsity athlete and premed student is extremely demanding. I can barely schedule time to see friends or eat a meal. Even if getting a follow up appointment took slightly less than what I had heard, it still would not be flexible enough to work with my schedule. It is SAD that I have to sacrifice either my sport, my academics, or my social life to get help. So, what have I done? I have suffered in silence. I have felt alone and helpless. I have felt like my university does not care about me as a person or my struggles. The demand to decrease wait times between the initial mental health evaluation and the follow up appointment and increase flexibility and availability of appointment times is imperative for all students, especially varsity athletes, who basically work a full time job in addition to a rigorous academic schedule. With changes regarding COVID-19, it is especially important for this change to come for the upcoming year. Leaving school and not being able to live our everyday lives will take an even bigger toll on the students’ mental health. During my quarantine experience, my social anxiety, depression, and body dysmorphia have been heightened due to lack of interaction and activity. This along with the deteriorating social climate of our world, will create an even bigger demand for mental health counseling, that can either be met, or ignored. The right choice can be made by taking the necessary action to decrease wait times and increase availability.”

Sydney Grobman, she/her/hers, 2021, TD