Mental health is a serious and ongoing issue in today’s society. With mental health awareness week just passing, it’s the perfect time to draw attention to the problem and start a conversation that is long overdue.
On a college campus, there’s always a lot that is expected from students. It’s no surprise we have busy schedules filled with classes, homework, jobs, internships, extracurriculars and so on. On top of that, students have to go through other personal everyday life struggles that add to what they are already trying to juggle. This can all become very overwhelming. Especially, in this part of the semester with midterms, essays and projects to focus on.
It’s very important that mental health should become one of our top priorities. We need to remember that through all the busy schedules and rough patches we face on a daily basis, as overwhelming as it gets, our health should come first. We need to take time to care for ourselves.
With a campus as big as UNR, students should have available sources and a strong support system to fall back upon. We are lucky to have a campus that provides us with such services, where as other campuses may not have that option. However, I feel that these services can and should improve significantly.
Abbey Smith, who struggled with mental health, tweeted about how UNR’s mental health services opened at 8 a.m., but when she called in at 8:05 a.m., all the appointments were taken.
“I was hospitalized not long after and then they saw me because it was mandatory to be seen if I wanted to stay on campus,” Smith tweeted.
This is not okay. Students shouldn’t be fighting phone lines to be seen if they need help. They should be able to be seen or have a conversation with somebody as soon as they reach out for it.
Smith eventually got the help she needed.
“I did receive help, and I bonded with my therapist, which helped, but unfortunately you only get a limited amount of sessions because of the student to faculty ratio,” said Smith. “I believe that if I had received help when I called several times to make an appointment, and was able to schedule one, my mental health wouldn’t have declined as much. Obviously, I’m not blaming the school, but I needed the help and didn’t get it until it was mandated.”
I think that the university can help better this issue by hiring some more faculty to help their students. By doing that, they can avoid circumstances like the one Smith had to go through. No student should have to get to the point where hospitalization gets them a visit.
“Students that call for help don’t have time to wait for an appointment, they need it as soon as possible!” said Smith. “There needs to be a way to get more staff to help students.”
We can improve our mental health services so students don’t have to wait as long to get the attention they need. Whether that’s expanding the mental health services staff, changing their hours so they’re open longer, or another way. It’s vital for the safety and health of the students, here, at UNR.
Mental health isn’t just something we can throw to the side anymore. It’s something that needs to be discussed and talked about.
Opinions expressed in The Nevada Sagebrush are solely those of the author and do not necessarily express the views of The Sagebrush or of its staff. Lauren Turner studies journalism and english
and can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.