Michigan and Mental Health

Michigan and Mental Health

With the stigma surrounding mental health, it is hard to broach discussions over your well-being or your friends’ well-being casually. When I find myself feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I tend to keep it to myself—preferring to deal with my woes alone at the expense or looking like someone unstable or a whiner to my friends, atypical from my customary cheerful persona. Since the onslaught of freshmen year at university, I feel that the university has done a sound job of highlighting and bringing up mental health, essentially breaking the ice. The only complaint I have, however, is resources just tend to fall around CAPS. While this is not the only option, it is the most stressed choice and seems like the only option when discussing mental health. Furthermore, while CAPS is a viable resource, there are problems surrounding it too. For example, making an appointment. In the shoes of someone feeling overwhelmed etc., it is sometimes pertinent to talk to someone now, with waits ranging from days to weeks to make an appointment, that is generally hard. Also, in most scenarios, you would be speaking with a stranger who does not truly understand your perspective. Another resource is talking to your RA, PA (with respect to HSSP) DPSS and ResStaff. There are issues surrounding speaking with ResStaff too if you know this person and will see them around occasionally. Back home, when I felt stressed out or overwhelmed, I generally turned to my parents who expressed understanding and I felt safe from stigma/judgment. Being thousands of miles away, this is a lot harder—but is still usually my go-to choice. I also consider friends as a supportive community to lean on. I think it is also important to escape from the campus bubble for the sake of your well-being too. My question is this: where would you go on campus for mental health prevention or treatment?



15 thoughts on “Michigan and Mental Health

  1. I get what you’re saying about CAPS. While it is one of the most valuable resources for mental health on campus, I feel like some students – including me – would prefer other options to CAPS. This is simply because I don’t want to talk to stranger about my personal troubles and feelings (even though these “strangers” are trained professionals who have the best intention to help you). Before, I would turn to my parents, just like you do. But being in college now, parents are no longer the best option. So to answer your question, I would first seek help from my friends, RA’s, and PA’s if I were having some mental health concerns on campus. Personally, I would feel more relaxed and supported if I were talking to someone I know and trust. That being said, I also understand that CAPS is an important resource, and that it can provide more comprehensive mental illness prevention and counseling services. So if people need help and support for their mental help, they should not feel hesitate to reach out to CAPS.

  2. I also agree that CAPS is stressed a lot where the mental health of students on campus is concerned. There are other organizations that do deal in mental health on campus and if someone is feeling that they really do need to seek help I do recommend that they look into these other options. I obtain my mental health treatment through meditation. People always mention that students need someone to talk to but joining certain clubs, organizations, exercising, or practicing a healthy mindset can also help with mental health. I have called my family a couple of times when I am feeling the pressure of an exam but when family is not as available as we are used to I think it is important that some of us can lean on this community. Plenty of HSSPers have told me they are there to talk should I ever need anything; that being said, RA’s, PA’s, friends, or peers can be a good source. I also feel that I can talk to my academic advisor, scholarship advisor, or financial aid advisor about anything that I am troubled in. Furthermore, if you have a good relationship with a professor, advisor, or adult it could be a good option to seek them out. You are never as alone as you think you are and they could have gone through the same thing you may be going though now.

  3. Speaking in the perspective as an out of state student, it is difficult to not have our parents or even siblings closer. It gets to the point where one even starts thinking that they are alone in such a huge university. I agree with the fact that we need to have our support system at the university as we cannot always depend on our parents to be there for us. Even if it is one friend that listens to the problems, doubts, and concerns that an individual may have, it’s better to have that one go-to friend because they have a way of making us feel better.

    I have never been to a mental health prevention on campus because I can never find the time for it. I usually always vent to my best friend which helps me feel better knowing that I have someone to lean on. I believe it is important to find a support system because they can be life savers in our most stressful moments.

  4. I have been blessed enough to never have the need to pursue mental health prevention on campus. However, I would mostly likely first approach my friends and peers and talk to them about the issue. Based on what they say and how I am feeling I would then probably look into further methods of making sure I am getting the right help- whether that means following through with CAPS or speaking to a counselor.

  5. I have not had to use any mental health prevention resources during my time on campus. I have also never used any mental health resources outside campus as well. However, if I ever need help with my mental health , I would probably talk with my parents and/or friends. I don’t personally like using other resources around campus because, like you said, I don’t think they are able to understand me at my personally level. I think that it’s important for the person that is helping to have a relationship with the person they’re trying to help to really help them.

  6. I think that every school has a special advisor for these sorts of issues, I am not sure, though. I know the business school has an advisor that I can see for this. I learned about this advisor through my peer coach and intro to Ross class.

  7. Caps is a very available resource, and they really put themselves out there. Their number is on the back of our M cards as well. I heard they have sunlamps and massage chairs if you just want to de-stress.

  8. You make a very powerful point about putting yourself in the shoes of another person. Here at the University of Michigan, there are so many other students competing against us. To some, the challenge is welcomes. To others, it is beyond overwhelming. Perhaps that other person is mentally unstable to a certain degree, and cannot function under certain amounts of pressure. If we want to improve mental health among the community, we must recognize what other people go through. I also think it is very important for us to challenge ourselves with our own goals, rather than comparing ourselves to others. We should not be chasing others with fear of being beaten. We should be able to do our own thing and thrive with our own goals in mind.

  9. I do agree with you that CAPS is a great resource; however, I do not feel that you can blame them for not providing enough people. I feel that it is the job of the university to provide the money to back certain programs ran on campus. I also do not agree with telling your PA, or RA about certain issues that may be going on. A PA and RA have their own issues going on and they do not have confidentiality agreements that might protect you.

  10. I totally agree with you, Sarah. I do think that CAPS is the main resource that is advertised to students, which causes everyone to turn to it when they need help. This, in turn, makes it less accessible to other students because of the high demand of appointments. I’m not really sure where I’d go for this, because like most other students I feel that I don’t have time to seek out this help if I needed it. I think I would either try to go to Wolverine Wellness or CAPS if I needed help with my mental health.

  11. I also sometimes tend to keep my problems to myself and try to solve them on my own without talking to someone else. However, having that kind of support is so important because it leads to a better mental health. Instead of sitting alone and stressing about a big life problem all by yourself, having a group of friends that you can lean onto and share your feelings and thoughts is very beneficial to a person’s mental health. That is not always that case for everyone though. Like you said, CAPS is one of the most advertised resource for mental health. It is great that they are trying to reassure students that there are resources available at the university. However, I do agree with you that it is over advertised and other resources are not talked about as much.

  12. I am also someone who likes to keep my problems internal and discuss them with my parents and close friends. The only university mental health service I have heard about is CAPS but I don’t really know how effective that is and would be unlikely to utilize it. Like others above, I would probably try to work out my mental problems with my parents before doing anything else unless the problem is serious and needs immediate attention.

  13. I agree wholeheartedly with your stance on the CAPS-focused attitude on campus and I do believe it is a bit of an issue. I’ve never gone to CAPS, but I feel as if there is no way one center can be able to deal with the plethora of issues on this campus hurting students’ mental health. An example of a more specific mental health center would be the Spectrum center, which focuses on LGBTQ+ issues and mental health and relieves some of the flow of students to CAPS. I think there needs to be more specific centers on campus.

  14. I think that if I were feeling overwhelmed or down or stressed, I would first go to my friends to talk about it. I believe I have a good support system within my friend group. However, if I ever felt like this was not enough, I think I would go to CAPS. Although I think CAPS provides good resources for students, I think they could get more support from the University. Student government funds 1/2 of CAPS funds because U of M will not pay for it in full. I also believe that CAPS does not always have all the resources they need to provide adequate treatment for all types of students. Overall, I think the University could do more to support its students in the realm of mental health.

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