Mental health on student time

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Deborah Chen/File

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It only takes a few scrolls of UC Berkeley’s Facebook meme page to gauge the mental state of the general student population.

Many of us push through the semester, forcing ourselves to the brink of mental implosion in the hopes that we can at least pass — if not ace — our classes.

Many students dismiss mental health care when caught in the rat race of higher-level education and trap themselves in vicious cycles of stress and compromise — compromising rest and play for the sake of work.

Understandably, it’s difficult to halt what you’re doing to seek the mental health treatment you suspect you might need, and coping and treating mental health might look different for each individual. While college students might not always be able to forfeit a few hours of studying to seek the right mental health care, plenty of resources — both campus-provided and student-led — remain present in the Berkeley bubble for folks to seek comfort in whenever they’re ready. Listed below are a few resources of the large array the campus community offers.

 

Tang Center Satellite Locations

Perhaps the most well-known resource is the Tang Center’s Counseling and Psychological Services at the site on Bancroft Way; however, it’s their satellite locations placed throughout campus that directly reach many students. The point of these locations, according to Tang Center spokesperson Kim Jarboe LaPean, is to meet students where they are.

With 11 offices throughout the campus area, satellite locations feature Tang Center staff, trained and licensed under University Health Services. Students can engage in either one-on-one counseling or “Let’s Talk” hours, which are designed to be casual, accessible walk-in sessions for students to talk.

“The footprint of the Tang Center is very constrained,” LaPean said. “More importantly is what we know about students, which is can you meet us where we are. … It’s important just to be able to have that counseling support outside the Tang Center and actually in the community.”

To find out more about where and when to access satellite locations, go to: https://uhs.berkeley.edu/counseling/satellite

 

7 Cups at Berkeley

For those who might shy away from in-person conversations regarding mental health, a new internet portal, called 7 Cups at Berkeley, grants students access to free online anonymous peer-to-peer counseling year-round and 24/7.

With limited counselors serving thousands of students at the Tang Center, an online portal works as a convenient resource for any Berkeley student needing prompt assistance.

According to campus students Shauna Satnick, who directs the portal along with Keerthi Sundaramurthy and Nik Harish, “(7 Cups at Berkeley) was created in order to fill in those gaps at the Tang Center, especially pertaining to mental health.”

The website is: www.7cups.com/p/ucberkeley

The password for students to enter is: bearwellness

You Mean More

Dealing with any kind of mental health issue elicits plenty of feelings — frustration, alienation, fear, anger, etc. With a mistaken notion that humans are designed to handle the workload we inherit in attending university, many students tend to keep it held within, feeling ashamed of ever saying anything.

UC Berkeley’s You Mean More club will host their annual Mental Health Monologues on Nov. 18. The event allows people to open up about their experiences and aims to remove the stigma surrounding mental health by creating a space to talk about it.

“If you’re not feeling well, there’s no shame in that,” said Ashna Choudhury, co-executive of the club along with Kimberly Nielsen, a former reporter for The Daily Californian. “We realize that help or recovery for each person is going to look a lot different. For some people, it could be just as simple as being able to talk about it and being comfortable to say what on their mind.”

Mental Health Monologues, Nov. 18 @ 7 p.m., Genetics and Plant Biology Room 100

You Mean More meetings every Wednesday 8 to 9:30 p.m. in Wheeler 20

 

De-stress With Dogs

If you’ve ever walked down Sproul Hall between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., you may have seen them — one or two dogs looking at you with the most sincere acceptance, while students gather around to receive this warmth.

“There are certain types of people that will hit their friend next to them and go, ‘Look there’s a dog!’ whenever they see them,” said Jenna Waite, vice president of De-Stress with Dogs.

De-stress with Dogs is a club dedicated to, as the name suggests, de-stressing. Founded by Jaimie Kim, the current president, and Natsuki Takahari, the club approaches mental health with activities oriented around relaxation, unwinding and community. Alongside the tabling events each weekday, the club also hosts a variety of other events, such as Friday hikes with the dogs as well as yoga and coffee on Memorial Glade during dead week.

If seeking treatment alone and meeting counselors one-on-one sounds intimidating, De-Stress with Dogs is available as another option. Their communal weekly events aim to alleviate some of the mental burden of the campus environment. To Waite, the hikes, community and dogs allow mental health to be much more accessible.

“It’s really hard to deal with mental health, in general, on your own. It’s really hard to go in and get help on your own,” Waite said. “Every time I’ve seeked treatment, it’s because somebody said, ‘Hey I’ll go with you.’”

De-Stress with Dogs generally tables every weekday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and goes on hikes every Friday (subject to change).

Sign up for a mailing list at: tinyurl.com/furryfridays

Contact Adrianna Buenviaje at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @adriannaDC.

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