This story ran as part of a VCU Student Media Center summer special publication, The Compass, which serves as a guidebook for new students.
Anya Sczerzenie, Contributing Writer
It’s not uncommon for college students to struggle with their mental health from time to time. Luckily, most universities have resources to help students during difficult times, and VCU is no exception.
University Counseling Services — On the second floor of the Commons, University Counseling Services is one of the main resources for mental health care at VCU. Open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., University Counseling Services takes walk-ins but is usually only accessible by appointment. For MCV students, there is also a counseling service in Room 412 of the VMI Building.
The Well — The Well is a one-stop shop for all sorts of wellness resources. It hosts Rams in Recovery, a group for students recovering from substance abuse disorders. Mindfulness and meditation activities that can help with daily stress are also available.
University Student Health — Though you may think of Student Health as a regular doctor’s office, it can also help you with the medical side of mental health issues. If you’re on any medications, like antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications, Student Health can be great for medication management. It has its own pharmacy with lower prices than those at a normal drugstore. Located on Broad Street next to the Siegel Center, Student Health is open five days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Outside counseling centers — Sometimes, if you have a long-term problem, the Student Counseling Center may refer you to a community provider to continue therapy. There are many of these in Richmond, which vary in location and price. You can ask a university counselor to match you with an outside counselor who takes your insurance, specializes in treating your issue and even narrow your search by gender and location.
Your RA — They’re here to help you. Though it may be nerve-wracking to talk to someone you don’t know, it’s an RA’s job to help you navigate college life. If you’re living on-campus, you will have an RA either for your whole floor or for a section of it, and it’s always a good idea to try to get to know them. They may be able to help you out or guide you toward other resources — after all, they’ve been through their first year already.
The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs — LGBTQ students face higher rates of mental health issues than their straight peers. If you are part of that community, OMSA may be a good place to seek community and resources.
Remember, you’re not alone. You’re not the first, nor will you be the last, college student to struggle with their mental health.
Those in need can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.