Our mental health is something we need to be taking care of, but it often gets pushed aside with extracurricular responsibilities, never-ending midterms and jobs. While it’s understandable that our well-being can be overlooked in this flood of work, prioritizing your mental health is incredibly important to succeed and thrive as students.
However, it can be difficult to know how or where to start taking care of your well-being. UC Berkeley offers a wide variety of resources for students and staff through University Health Services, or UHS, and other programs. Here are a few of the resources you can start using today to help navigate your mental health journey.
Mental health screening
Educating yourself on mental illness and assessing your well-being is an essential first step in fostering your mental health. UHS offers anonymous mental health screenings for many common mental illnesses including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Available to all campus students, staff and faculty members, these screenings can help determine whether seeking professional consultation would be beneficial.
Counseling and Psychological Services, or CAPS
CAPS is a UHS program that provides a variety of short-term counseling services to all UC Berkeley students regardless of insurance coverage. The counseling staff at CAPS is a multicultural group of psychologists, social workers and advanced trainees, among others. Students can set up an in-person or phone appointment through the eTang patient portal or contact CAPS directly at (510) 642-9494.
Outside of formal counseling, CAPS offers the Let’s Talk program for students to engage in brief, casual walk-in counseling services. While insufficient for those in crisis seeking urgent help, this is ideal for those wanting to speak confidentially with a counselor without an appointment. Let’s Talk is intended to help students access support, gain perspective and explore other resources and options available to them.
Community specific support
One’s background or cultural community can play a big part in the challenges they face and the help they need. Working with various student organizations accordingly, UHS has compiled a list of resources specific to those in certain campus communities. These include the Black, Latine, international, Asian American and Pacific Islander, Muslim, queer and transgender communities, among others. Campus is continuing this effort and hopes to add more resources.
Crisis support and the PATH to Care Center
Finally, UHS has specific resources intended for crisis support. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, call (510) 642-9494 to reach CAPS or (855) 817-5667 for after-hours counseling support.
The campus PATH to Care Center provides resources and operates a 24/7 line at (510) 643-2005 for urgent support around sexual assault, sexual harassment, interpersonal violence, stalking and invasion of sexual privacy. UHS also outlines guidelines and provides support for domestic violence, sexual assault and campus crisis situations.
While far from exhaustive, we hope this list helps you find ways to prioritize your mental health without feeling overwhelmed. Stay healthy and safe, and look out for your own and your fellow bears’ well-being!