Mental health is a long-term investment

Letter to the Editor

As someone who was diagnosed with a high-functioning mental illness during early adolescence, I really expected to be overrun with resources in college to handle my feelings and ultimately leave that part of my life behind.

Yet, I have seen a frightening institutional trend at UVM: apathy towards struggling students, unless of course a student’s mental health interferes with tuition dollars.

When I sought a Student Accessibility Services accommodation last year, I was told by the staff that I “wasn’t disabled enough” to receive an accommodation and to try again next year.

Some of my professors have been more than willing to help accommodate my health, while some professors have only offered to drop one exam grade for every student in the class, meaning that I have the same level of support as someone who may have been too intoxicated the night before to study.

I also pay nearly $80 a visit for psychiatry services through UVM, as well as having to pay for medication out-of-pocket because my state insurance doesn’t apply in Vermont.

I was referred to off-campus counseling because Counseling and Psychiatry Services, didn’t offer “long-term support options,” according to an Oct. 18 Cynic article. This presents another struggle for students that can’t afford private services nor have the means of transportation to an off-campus location.

The only time I felt myself being “supported” by UVM was when one of my peers filed a CARE form, which is a counseling request students can submit on behalf of a friend, regarding my health.

I was immediately put into a meeting with an assistant resident director, given an option to schedule regular meetings with them to ensure that I was indeed alive and whisked away with a list of emergency call lines and strategies.

It’s really sad to see the lack of progressive approaches UVM takes to manage mental health among its students and instead only takes action when a crisis is in the picture.


Sara Klimek ’20


Undergraduate Teaching


UVM Environmental