Health, News, Student Organization

Counseling outreach brings mental health resources to students

It can be embarrassing for some students to walk up the ramp to the entrance of the University of Miami Counseling Center. The fear of being seen seeking help keeps some people from ever making an appointment. Healthy U, Healthy Me and Counseling Outreach Peer Education are trying to change that by bringing mental health awareness to the center of campus.

Last week, that help came in the form of a full week of “Health Week” events hosted by HUHM, a health and wellness organization.

College is a particularly risky time for students’ mental health since the late teen and early adulthood years are a common time for people to experience the first symptoms of many illnesses, including depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, said Amanda Jensen-Doss, associate professor of psychology.

“We know that early treatment is really important, so college students can help each other out by keeping an eye on one another and encouraging each other to get help,” she said.

Words such as “depression” and “panic attack” are extremely familiar to Tiffany Vlasenko, a sophomore majoring in international relations and computer science.

She said people her age were raised being told that seeking help for one’s mental health is a weakness, and that with enough willpower, eventually people would “get over it.”

“As a kid, I was never exposed to mental health” Vlasenko said. “I never even understood what I was feeling. There was no media representation of someone who suffered from it.”

Sabrina Xiao, the chair of COPE, said the stigma related to mental health is still widespread because of a lack of knowledge and a culture of shame and silence.

“Taking the first step to start the conversation is crucial,” said Xiao, a senior majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. “Being vulnerable and honest with our struggles helps normalize sensitive topics and encourages more people to seek help.”

Vlasenko said she waited to seek help until things were so bad she “didn’t care,” but she doesn’t want others to go through that experience.

To prevent students from reaching this snapping point, COPE regularly organizes events on campus to quiz students on mental health, spread awareness and offer a self-screening tool for common mental-health issues. With such events, COPE wants students to become more knowledgable and support each other.

“There’s always somebody who’s willing to talk to you,” said Rhea Manohar, president of HUHM. “You just have to be willing to talk to them.”

If you are struggling with mental-health issues or know anyone who is, you can reach the Counseling Center at 305-284-5511 at any time of the day or night. The center offers different services, including emergency and walk-in appointments, individual therapy, group therapy and psychiatric services.

Feature photo is an illustration by Grace Wehniainen.

April 10, 2018

Reporters

Elina Katrin


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

While the University of Miami has just three Class of 2019 oral commitments on offense, the Canes ha ...

Gerald Willis’ monster season has earned another piece of national recognition. On Monday, the Miami ...

It hasn’t been a great few weeks on the recruiting trail for the Miami Hurricanes with regards to of ...

A six-pack of Heat notes, leading up to Heat-Lakers on Monday night: ▪ In the days before one of his ...

A six-pack of Canes notes on a Friday: ▪ UM coach Mark Richt hasn’t yet given any indication to the ...

Most UM Debate Team members devote 10 to 15 hours of preparation for each tournament. ...

National Geographic connects with the University of Miami to empower the next generation of storytel ...

Following national recognition for its French production of Cinderella, the Frost Opera Theater is d ...

Several UM art students are getting real-world exposure during a highly anticipated – and attended – ...

Over the past several years, more and more students are using UM Libraries as a study place, a meeti ...

Gerald Willis III added to his postseason awards list, picking up second-team All-America honors fro ...

Following its longest break of the season thus far, the No. 25/23 Miami women's basketball team ...

Miami head women's tennis coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews announced Friday the signing of two players ...

After a six-day layoff, the No. 25/23 Miami women's basketball team will be back in action Sund ...

University of Miami redshirt senior defensive tackle Gerald Willis III was recognized for his outsta ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.