Each year, around 100 Washington University students choose to take a medical leave of absence for mental health reasons, according to Tom Brounk, director of Mental Health Services at Student Health Services.
At the Sept. 19 Student Union Senate meeting, Senators Tyler Tran, Brian Adler and Jeff Berkowitz launched their “Mental Health Initiative.” While I applaud these senators for looking into this issue, I was upset with their approach.
Mental health resources are severely lacking and are made even more inaccessible by restrictions set in place by Washington University.
From just that one email checking in with me, I told him everything that was going on, and we met for an hour in person over coffee later that week to discuss how I was feeling.
SHS’s Mental Health Services are poorly equipped for students in need of long-term help because of SHS’s inability to fulfill a steady stream of appointment requests.
The biggest issue is that we’re scared of mental health. We’re scared of mental health because being open about stress, anxiety and sadness requires us to be vulnerable.
I can pretty much guarantee you know someone you went to high school with, grew up with or met at Washington University who has committed suicide. My question then to you is: What keeps you silent? What keeps you from reaching out to your friends to check in? What are you scared of?
Student Health Services launched a new web-based treatment this fall called Therapist Assisted Online that aims to help alleviate any anxiety, depression or stress that students may feel.
Since Longyear’s death, strides have been made to better improve mental health resources and their visibility on Wash. U.’s campus… But still, those additions are reactionary, with students only taking advantage of them after they’ve been pushed past a breaking point.
This year’s Black Anthology production, “Black and Blue,” brought to light the intersection of mental illness and blackness, paying special attention to how, despite attempts to silence experience, people can recognize the need for help in ourselves and others.