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Mental Health: You Are Not Alone

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Image of students working at the University of Massachusetts and list of CCPH services, including drop-in sessions, short-term counseling, and support groups

It’s not easy to admit that you’re not as okay as you (and maybe other people) want to be, but, as Dr. Berkowitz says in One Day at A Time, "If you go to the cardiologist when you have a heart problem, you should go to a professional if you have a mental health problem."

First, it's important to state that I’m not an expert in mental health. I’ve had, however, some experience in having to deal with therapists and other types of support. These past few years have been full of traumatic and life changing events for me, and it took me a while to realize that I didn’t have to deal with it on my own.

The most important thing I’ve learned is that there’s no need to feel ashamed if you need help.

Mental Health Services at the University of Massachusetts

Like I said before, if you had a heart problem, you’d go to the cardiologist without giving it a second thought, and mental health should be no different. If you feel like you may be anxious, depressed, or just any other type of feeling you don’t necessarily feel equipped to handle or are comfortable with — don’t be afraid to talk to reach out to a mental health provider.

UMass Amherst has tons of different services readily available for students, like: counseling sessions, support groups and workshops, and meditation and mindfulness practices sessions, and brief counseling sessions.  

The Center for Counseling and Psychological Help (CCPH) offers a number of services available for students, like: counseling sessions, support groups and workshops, and other specialized services around all sorts of topics from making connection, managing anxiety, coping with a break up to psychiatric consultation for medications related to mental health. The workshops and groups meet often throughout the academic year, and cover a wide variety of topics, from building better emotional and stress coping skills, to improving body image, to things like coping with social anxiety or grief.

All you need to do is call (413) 545-2337, or stop by Middlesex House for more information on how to access them.

What Is It Like Utilizing CCPH?

Two services I found extremely helpful are the “Let’s Talk” drop-in sessions and the brief counseling.

“Let’s Talk” sessions are a free, informal, and confidential way of talking with a professional about something that’s bothering you.

Be it stress from school, or if the world feels like it’s tilted a degree to the left, “Let’s Talk" sessions are good if you don’t quite need counseling sessions, but still want to talk about anything with an impartial professional.

If you feel like you might want to to get a professional consultation, you can call CCPH and schedule a phone screening appointment. During the screening, the CCPH representative will ask you to talk about your situation and ask questions to assess the concern and how urgent it might be. At the end of the screening appointment, the clinician will discuss what to do next. Options might include a referral to a workshop or group, an appointment for initial consultation at CCPH, and/or referral to other campus or community resources. If your situation is critical, CCPH also offers crisis and urgent appointments as needed.

If you have a language or gender preference, the people at the Center will do their best to find a counselor that fits what you’re looking for. CCPH only offers short-term help, but if you and your provider decide that you need to see someone once a week, or for a more prolonged period of time, they will help you find a community provider that fits your needs.  

You have up to four individual consultation sessions without charge, and after that your insurance will be billed (sessions are fully covered under the insurance from the Student Health Benefit Plan) — so make sure to talk with your insurance provider to find out about coverage.

The only downside is that the wait can sometimes be lengthy if it’s not an “urgent” case; if you feel like you can’t wait, then make sure to tell them you need to see someone urgently.

Check out the CCPH website for more information on services, and any other doubts you may have.

Whatever it is you're going through, know that UMass Amherst is here for you. Don’t hesitate to contact CCPH if you feel like you need help to manage your mental health — it’s as important as your physical health!

If you’re in immediate danger call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK 911, or University of Massachusetts Police Department at (413) 545-3111 immediately.

You are not alone.

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