Mental health awareness is a topic that has thankfully gained more attention and resources during the past decade, particularly on college campuses. Why? Because balancing the challenges that earning a degree presents is hard and, sometimes, we need a little help. I think we can all agree on that.
At the graduate level, you've likely never been busier. There are classes, research, co-ops and internships, networking, part-time jobs, full-time jobs, maybe you have a family, or maybe you're trying to enter a brand new field. No matter what your personal graduate school experience looks like, sometimes it's just hard. And it should be! You should feel challenged, and you should work hard to accomplish your goals, but while all this is going on, you should also be taking care of yourself.
Mental health is a broad topic, and it means something different to all of us. Take the time to figure out what it means for you and your ability to be successful.
Drexel University is lucky to have the Office of Counseling & Health Services, which has over 10 professionals dedicated to helping students succeed. They offer traditional one-on-one sessions, but also have several groups, workshops, organizations, and accommodations to serve students. The best part is, you likely would not have to wait more than a day, maybe two, to meet with someone. If it's help you need, help you will receive!
One of the best things about the Office of Counseling & Health Services is that they are very aware of the unique needs of the graduate student population. They offer evening appointments for students who may be stuck in a lab or working all day, and offer schedules for students on both the semester and quarter calendars. One of the coolest things they offer is a group therapy session specifically for graduate students. This is hosted regularly throughout the school year and allows students to speak freely about their experience and to socialize with and support other like-minded students.
Maybe you don't feel like you need professional help or even the less formal resources that the Office of Counseling & Health Services offers, but it's important to realize what you do need. Identify the people that are part of your support system and know what helps you relieve stress and relax. Mental health is a broad topic, and it means something different to all of us. Take the time to figure out what it means for you and your ability to be successful.
For more information, please visit the Counseling Center. Special thanks to Dr. Scott Sokoloski, assistant director, for the wealth of information provided for this blog post.