In response to rising rates of anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns on college campuses nationwide, Chancellor May last year created a task force dedicated to mental health, with an emphasis on augmenting students' access to care. Here are a few of the new and enhanced services that are worth knowing about as we head into the new academic year.
Online scheduling for counseling appointments began last year, but now you can actually schedule an online visit—a video counseling session—and get convenient access to care from your phone or laptop. You can view counselors’ profiles ahead of time and shop around until you find one that’s a good fit. This service is offered through a partnership with LiveHealth Online and Anthem Blue Cross, and provides 24/7 access to free psychiatric and medical services in addition to counseling.
Eight new counselor positions were created and successfully recruited last year, and The University of California Office of the President Mental Health Initiative, originally earmarked to fund 11 counselors by 2021, will be supporting all 11 counselors by spring of this year. This will increase Student Health and Counseling Services' (SHCS) capacity and help you get in to see someone with a minimum of wait time.
For situations where waiting isn’t an option, counselors are now setting aside time to provide availability for crisis services in North Hall, a central campus location. (There are a number of other resources for immediate crisis support as well).
New SHCS Director Dr. Paul Kim will also be engaging with the Mental Health Coalition and its member student groups, as well as a number of committees, including the Basic Needs Oversight Committee, Student Affairs Leadership Team and the UC Office of the President Privacy Workgroup to enhance and strengthen the relationship between Counseling Services and the student body.
Upwards of one in five students experiences a mental health condition while in college. Be sure to explore and make use of the resources available to you at UC Davis.