This fall semester marked a wide return to in-person classes for UC Berkeley students, and at the same time, many of us still find ourselves in a hybrid or fully remote learning arrangement. With the business of keeping up with fall coursework, combined with adjusting to another “new normal,” it is understandable (and yes, even expected) that we as students may struggle with maintaining our mental health and emotional well-being.
If we are to thrive as students, it is imperative that we prioritize our mental health. UC Berkeley has a plethora of mental health and emotional wellness services available to all students, staff and faculty that can help you on your journey. Let’s look at some of our campus resources that you can start using today.
University Health Services
Start at the University Health Services mental health resources page to explore campus options that best address your individual needs. Whether you’re speaking with a professional, connecting with fellow students or taking advantage of an abundance of online tools and apps, there are multiple ways for you to start making strides in the improvement and maintenance of your mental health immediately.
Counseling and Psychological Services
Counseling and Psychological Services aims to provide holistic development of all UC Berkeley students through a wide range of services. CAPS may end up becoming one of your primary destinations, as it offers multicultural counseling, career consultation, educational services and more. Peruse the handouts page if you’re interested in learning more about helping fellow students. The FAQ page is a comprehensive guide for answering your questions. There are also location and contact details to assist you in planning.
Let’s Talk Program
The Let’s Talk Program offers consultations with a UHS counselor, making it one of the most helpful ways for you to start receiving support. The drop-in style setup is an accessible, informal way to meet with CAPS counselors to learn more about what solutions may best suit your needs. This choice is quick and free, with no paperwork involved. Please note: This program is not designed for students who need urgent help. If you are in a crisis, you will want to contact the Tang Center, which is covered in more detail below.
Crisis Support and Resources
If you have an urgent need, do not wait for an appointment. Instead, call the CAPS urgent support line at (510) 642-9494 to speak with a counselor immediately. Visit the crisis resources page to learn about social services that help in dealing with assault, interpersonal violence and other traumatic events.
Connect and Engage
We all have heard how important it is to our overall health to keep up our relationships. Evidence has shown that loneliness and isolation make achieving good mental health and emotional well-being nearly impossible. UC Berkeley’s offerings include dedicated student-to-student peer counseling. This student-run group started in 1967 and it is made up of peer counselors who create a strong support network. Students are encouraged to speak openly and ask questions about other personal issues. Peer counselors can source referrals and point students in the right direction for professional help if applicable. Another way to connect is through group counseling. This provides the opportunity to gain community and address common concerns in a comfortable setting.
PATH to Care Center
Another critical element in supporting the wellbeing of students is through the use of advocacy and training to strengthen campus safety. The PATH to Care Center primarily uses prevention methods to ensure our community remains free of sexual harassment and violence of all types. The team at PATH to Care accomplishes this by collaborating with the entire campus community to do their part by using social norms training. This includes guidance for planning departmental town halls, toolkits for preventing harassment and other targeted campaigns. Survivors can receive housing support, planning assistance, practical living guidance, medical advice and additional counseling.
Learn New Tools
At UC Berkeley, we especially enjoy researching and learning new concepts. If you are ready to read and then add lifelong good habits to your life skills checklist, check out the mental health learn page. Don’t miss the outstanding recommended book list!
Therapy Assistance Online is an online library of programs to teach resilience in overcoming personal disappointments and life setbacks. As you explore the interactive content, you’ll be gaining new knowledge that will enable you to achieve your personal goals. There is even a mindfulness library and therapy exercises for you to discover at your own pace, in your own way. Remember to take a look at the fantastic Berkeley student well-being page. This portal includes informative articles to address mind, body, food, relationships and more. Finally, we cannot neglect to mention the UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center’s collaboration with HopeLab to use science studies and research-based methods to foster a more meaningful life.
Though this list is only a sampling and not nearly a comprehensive overview of all the resources available to you as a UC Berkeley student, it should be enough to get you started. If you get lost in the links, go back to the mental health landing page to orient yourself. While beginning this process may feel overwhelming, know that every resource you contact has the potential to steer you to a good place for you to begin. If you still aren’t sure, try to use the UHS Golden Bear chat box on the mental health landing page. Remember that you are not alone — instead, you are surrounded by people who care and who can help.
Contact Abigail Barenfus at [email protected].