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Having a Mental Illness and Attending University Made (Slightly) Easier

Having a mental illness and attending university can be difficult without the right resources. Almost as difficult as juggling a kitchen table with your feet. (Have you seen that video? It’s insane! I suggest watching it up. Quite the entertainment.) I make this odd and specific comparison because it focuses on the question of where to even begin? If you’re like me and no one in your family has ever been diagnosed with a mental illness, finding the resources you need can be difficult.

Thanks to the internet, difficulty is a thing of the past and not an excuse for not getting the help you need. Sometimes the difficulty falls in not finding reliable resources. There are plenty of resources out in the world and the last thing someone in need wants to find is resources that neglect the needs of the client in an effort to make money.

Here is a list of resources for Drexel students (other collegiate students can look into their school specific resources) that may come in handy at any point during their time here as a student.

 

The Office of Counseling and Health Services (Drexel University)

This counseling office offers exactly that. There are counselors that the student can schedule intake meetings with and find a counselor or therapist that they feel most comfortable with and who meets their needs as a student. They offer a range of counseling in the form of individual, group, and peer counseling. These resources are great to help the student in need feel that they are still very much a part of the school community and not alone in their struggles. Additionally, if there are some services the student wishes to utilize that they don’t meet requirements for, the Office of Counseling and Health Services is well prepared with community resources to which the student can be referred.

 

Punk Talks (Philadelphia)

Punk Talks boasts the motto “You don’t have to be sad to make great music.” Founded to provide counseling to musicians, industry professionals, fans, and so forth of punk music, they aim to break the stigma and raise awareness of mental health issues. Punk Talks offer free (in some cases) and affordable counseling services, perfect for students living on a budget. Punk Talks has 35 locations nationwide, visit their website to see if your city, or a city near you, has any of their resources.

 

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

This is a type of therapy that targets improving coping mechanisms and one’s way of living through crisis and periods of relief. I have personally benefitted greatly from this therapy. Focusing on creating a life worth living, teaching coping skills, the importance of physical and mental self-care, and interpersonal effectiveness. Often taught in a group setting and with sessions once a week, this form of therapy fits well into a busy student’s schedule and gives them the necessary skills to make it through school and life afterwards.

 

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

The National Alliance on Mental Illness, also referred to as NAMI, has an outstanding resource page. They offer resources for people of every community: family members and caretakers, LGBTQ+, veterans and active duty service members, and diverse communities. There isn’t a single group that this organization leaves uncovered. If the previous resources weren’t for you, NAMI is sure to have a service that fits your needs.

 

These four resources are great for young students in university who haven’t a clue of where to beginning finding mental health resources. If you know of any other resources that have helped you, a friend, or a relative that weren’t mentioned, feel free to leave a comment and share that knowledge. Knowledge is power, especially in the fight for better mental health.

Giovanna Byrd

One thought on “Having a Mental Illness and Attending University Made (Slightly) Easier

  1. Hi Giovanna, thank you for sharing this! Mental health is something that I never heard much about until I came to college and I learned the hard way how important it is to prioritize self-care. I hope this article will help support students around the area to find support. Something I think is important to consider is that any reader looking at this article should also familiarize themselves with their health insurance. Some plans cover special services, which can help lower the cost of quality care! One on one therapy may not be for everyone, but I think it’d be a great start to helping someone in need to find a connection and begin the healing process.

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