Mental health resources should get more attention – The Observer
Throughout the past week, Case Western Reserve University’s Office of Postgraduate Planning and Experiential Education has sent out four different emails detailing internships and jobs available to students, promoting many on-campus lectures and announcing experiential learning opportunities. This office, along with others on campus, including the Office of Support for Undergraduate Research and Creative Efforts (SOURCE) and the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, constantly sends emails revealing opportunities to students. . These resources are incredibly valuable to those who seek them.
However, for some, this constant stream of emails is a source of stress and anxiety. This can make students feel that their academic pursuits are not enough to meet today’s standards of being a student. School work is a lot in itself; many students take more than 15 credits each semester, depending on their major, just to meet graduation requirements.
This emphasis on consistent internships, jobs, and experiences while in college is certainly important; experiential learning is sometimes more valuable than classroom time, especially when considering the expectations of future employers. However, when there are not enough mental health resources and provisions available to students, a problem arises.
Mental health should be the number one concern for students, with everything else, including pursuing a summer internship, coming second. Mental health requires constant attention, because good mental health does not come out of nowhere. Universities must foster an environment that encourages proper self-care – only then will students be able to excel.
How is this possible, however, if the current resources on our campus are not well equipped to handle the overabundance of students who need help? With the lack of mental health resources available, some students are forced to forego mental health counseling altogether, ultimately leading to them being trapped in the wrong mental space. Often slots aren’t available on MyHealthConnect, the student health portal, to sign up for a meeting with a counselor, even though the university boasts that students are entitled to 12 free counseling sessions.
These advisors are also overloaded, especially at times like these when everything seems to be coalescing at once. Whether it’s the stress of registering for classes, the inundation of exams and projects, the pressure to find a job or an internship for the summer, the anxiety of knowing that the finals are coming or just simple fatigue from a rigorous semester, we are all overwhelmed to some degree.
CWRU needs to invest more in mental health resources to support student success. The CWRU promotes the mental health resources available to students and even highlights them in the first-year experience modules that we must all complete, but there is no guarantee that they will be available. Extensions to our counseling services have been promised over the years, particularly to justify tuition fee increases, but so far not much seems to have materialized. Of course, the CWRU should hire more counselors, but there are many other ways to help students and put their mental health first. The administration can schedule mental health days, organize more mentally beneficial activities, or perhaps provide things like therapy groups and accessible brochures on stress reduction techniques to students. There is no doubt that this administration could do to prioritize the welfare of its students.
Additionally, many professors need to become more aware of the mental health climate of the student body – this can mean dropping assignments and lowering expectations when struggles are clearly visible. After all, it’s no surprise that students struggle to consider the state of the world, with COVID-19 rife, climate change accelerating, democracy crumbling and war raging. prepared. That’s not even mentioning the emotional toll that being online 24/7 has taken on all of us. Even a simple guarantee of understanding and flexibility when students ask for help would be better than the current situation. Too often professors tell students to just “deal with it,” citing that it is not fair to other students if they provide accommodations to certain people.
The amount of stress and pressure students face as new adults is already absurd, and it only increases over the years as expectations rise. And with their lack of respect for sanity and their sole focus on success, the CWRU adds tremendously to that stress. It makes sense that CWRU as an institution would want to promote its ability to provide jobs and opportunities for its students, but success has many dimensions. The university certainly has the ability to help us and put our well-being first, and the days of continual broken promises are long gone. The CWRU must act.