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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

The UA has resources for mental health

Joshua+Sanchez%2C+a+junior+psychology+major+and+President+of+Active+Minds%2C+leads+planning+on%0Athe+3rd+floor+of+Campus+Health+for+Mental+Health+Awareness+Week%2C+a+huge+weeklong+program+March+28%26%23173%3B-April+1+to+promote+mental+health+and+wellness+on+campus.
Jen Pimentel
Joshua Sanchez, a junior psychology major and President of Active Minds, leads planning on the 3rd floor of Campus Health for Mental Health Awareness Week, a huge weeklong program March 28­-April 1 to promote mental health and wellness on campus.

Mental Health Awareness Week wrapped up at the UA last week, and featured events for suicide prevention training, panels discussing mental health, depression screenings, as well as massages and yoga for stress prevention.

The week-long event, which took place March 28 through April 1 and was put on by the UA Active Minds chapter with the support of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona and Campus Health Service, aimed to help raise awareness about mental health.

According to activeminds.org, an estimated one in four adults suffers from a mental illness. On top of that, suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students, claiming the lives of 1,100 students each year. On March 28, UA Active Minds put 1,100 flags on the UA Mall to recognize those lives that are lost.

“We’re doing a bunch of events to try and get people to talk about mental health so that students can know that it is prevalent on college campuses,” said Victoria Eudy, secretary of UA Active Minds.

While Active Minds is a way to create dialogue about mental health on campus, it is not necessarily a resource for students if they want to get help.

Counseling and Psych Services, also known as CAPS, offers psychological counseling and psychiatric services to students by licensed professionals.

Lee Ann Hamilton, the assistant director of Health Promotion and Preventive Services at Campus Health, said that CAPS will assess students’ needs and help them in whatever way they need.

“You can put [the counseling fee] on your bursar’s account and it’s confidential,” Hamilton said. “Teachers don’t get it, parents don’t get it. As long as you’re 18, it is confidential.”

Hamilton also said that there are some online resources for students who may be more hesitant about going in person. Online support groups and workshops can supplement in-person meetings. Additionally, students can take anxiety or alcohol screenings online.

CAPS also has other resources, like LGBTQ support groups and an Alcoholics Anonymous program that was started on campus just this year with a grant from the state.

CAPS also has services specifically for veterans, such as a VA crisis hotline. Women’s counselor Deborah Anderson, from the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System, holds counseling sessions designed for female veterans in CAPS each week.

Related column: UA students should feel comfortable using CAPS.

The Women’s Resource Center is a non-discriminatory, on-campus student center that provides a multitude of resources to the UA community, according to the WRC official website. It provides programs and education that engage issues of sexual assault, violence, relationships, sex, gender and equity.

Another organization, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is planning to reopen its chapter at the UA. Eudy said it’s similar to Active Minds, but offers more support for family members.

Both Eudy and Hamilton said that they want to raise awareness about mental health and start a conversation to end the stigma, so students who may be suffering might feel they can reach out for help.

“Because you often can’t see mental illness, people tend to doubt it sometimes, or discount it,” Hamilton said. “Nobody would ever say that if someone had diabetes or cancer or something like that. I think it’s [a] long, long standing taboo.”

Eudy added that brain research is relatively new, so people might start to become familiar with understanding what causes mental health issues.

Whatever the case, both Eudy and Hamilton have made it their goal to encourage people to reach out for help if they feel they are suffering from a mental illness.

“We’re trying to fight that stigma so that people will talk about it, be more accepting of people and not be so judging,” Hamilton said. “Don’t put people in a pigeonhole. People are much more than their diagnosis or their label or their illness.”

CAPS is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 a.m., Monday through Friday.

Other Resources

24 Hour Crisis Line: (520) 622-6000

Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 (800) 273-TALK (8255)

LGBTQ Resource Center: (520) 626-1996

VA Crisis Line: 1 (800) 273-8255 (Option 1)


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