As college students, there are many pressures placed upon us whether they be personal, financial, social, or academic. Many students, while seemingly happy, are suffering from invisible forces such as anxiety or depression. Unfortunately, mental health is not a topic that is talked about quite often on a college campus and if it is, it can feel incredibly awkward,
Unfortunately, more and more students are entering college with diagnosed mental illness. With this comes a dwindling amount of resources available. College campuses are likely unable to provide for all those in need due to the high demand and low supply. If there is anything positive about long wait lines is that the stigma on mental health is being chipped away; students feel more comfortable; more diverse students are entering college. However, public universities, like the one I attend, get their money from the state which also means that widening the budget for mental health resources can be quite difficult.
Personally, I know students who have had mental breakdowns; built up the courage to seek help just to be told that the first available appointment at the Counseling and Wellness Center was three weeks out. As a person who also struggles with mental health, I know that this can be incredibly frustrating to push your feelings to the back burner and twiddle your thumbs in anticipation.
Some schools, including the University of Florida, have developed programs to hopefully solve issues before they become urgent or harmful. For example, U Matter We Care is an organization that provides services for those who need help or who are wanting to help others. Hopefully, as the demand for mental health resources increases, we will see programs like these grow in number along with the number of counselors on campus.