Prioritizing mental health services

Staff Editorial

Taking care of your mental health is hard. Sitting in front of a professional and vulnerably telling them your worries? Not easy.

Getting mental health homework? Some people would rather have four exams in one week.

Maybe you think meditation sounds even scarier. Having to sit silently with your own thoughts?

Anxiety presents itself in many forms. Maybe you are plagued with worry and can’t fall asleep. Maybe your hands shake. Maybe you sweat profusely at the thought of speaking in class.

Depression manifests itself differently as well. Some cry a lot; others feel their body is too heavy to get out of bed.

If this sounds familiar, vividly or vaguely, you are not alone. One in four young adults ages 18 to 24 are living with a diagnosable mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Thirty-one percent of college students have felt so depressed in the past year that it was difficult to function. More than half have felt overwhelming anxiety, according to NAMI.

Healing your mind is tough; sometimes there isn’t one right way to do it.

Mental health needs to become a priority on campus. Thankfully, UVM has some services to help.

The Center for Health and Wellbeing is a great resource for mental health support. They are comprised of Student Health Services, Counseling and Psychiatry services and Living Well. They offer UVM students a wide range of services to support the mind, body and soul.

Student Health Services is staffed with physicians, nurses, PAs and dietitians. They collaborate with CAPS as well. If you go to Student Health with a mental health concern, they will suggest you seek out CAPS.

If you’re in need of mental health support, go to CAPS, located in Jacob’s House on Main Street and in Wright on Redstone campus. It might take seeing more than one therapist or psychiatrist to find your perfect fit. You may bounce around before you feel comfortable.

Living Well, in the first floor of the Davis Center, offers weekly drop-in meditations, free painting classes and massages. Each Friday, Living Well brings therapy to dogs to campus.

The Catamount Recovery Program, founded in 2010, focuses on five pillars: recovery, community, academics, service and advocacy. CRP offers programming and community for those who are in recovery.

UVM offers a variety of free, accessible services for student mental health, but the University and UVM students can be doing more.

Advocate for improved mental health services. Demand the University prioritize funding for mental health programs. Catamount Recovery, which currently operates out of Living Well, deserves their own space.

Wellness Environment classes should be offered to all students; everyone deserves to learn how to take care of their brain.

CAPS shouldn’t be located so far from Central campus. The Jacob’s House spot is hard for some students to get to, especially those without cars or bikes.

When people are seeking mental health services, we should strive to make it physically accessible.

Finally, if you need it, advocate for yourself by going to therapy. Talk to someone.