College students must navigate through the trials of social life, academics and the unpredictability of life. It is easy to ignore the importance of self-care in such a fast-paced environment. Subsequently, this leads to high levels of stress, anxiety and depression among 18 to 23-year-olds.
In an attempt to alleviate some of this pressure, Student Health and Wellness offers the “Let’s Talk” program. This confidential consultation service provides UConn students with a safe haven to voice their personal concerns. This is a good start for students who feel as though they’re in need of help, but aren’t exactly sure where to start. The clinicians have the ability to connect students with a more suitable campus resource based on their situation.
“Let’s Talk” is held in the 4th floor waiting room of Arjona every Tuesday and Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. It is on a first come, first serve basis, so no appointment is needed.
“At UConn, we saw it as an opportunity to create another pathway to support,” Kristina Stevens, a licensed clinical social worker and the director of SHaW Mental Health, said. “Many students are interested in obtaining an informal consultation or advice, have a specific problem they would like to discuss with someone or are in the early stages of exploring counseling as an option for them.”
This resource aims to give students a casual outlet for support before they reach a level of crisis. It can also be used as a space to voice one’s concerns about a friend in order to receive guidance on supporting them. Please note that “Let’s Talk” is not suitable to handle mental illness emergencies. Those who are in a state of distress should visit the “Crisis Support” tab on SHaW’s website.
Cornell University was the first to establish “Let’s Talk,” which is where UConn adopted the idea from. Since UConn is such an immense and diverse community, there must be many channels for students struggling with mental health issues.
Some other events SHaW’s Mental Health department holds regularly include gentle therapeutic yoga and breathwork classes, Introduction to Mindfulness workshops and Mediation Mondays. The yoga and breathwork classes are held Wednesdays 6:30-8 p.m. both online and in-person at the Rec Center. The objective of these classes is to calm and nurture one’s body and mind. The Introduction to Mindfulness workshops introduce skills and concepts to reduce stress and improve overall well-being. These workshops are held Mondays 1-2 p.m., Tuesdays 3-4 p.m., Wednesdays 1-2 p.m. and Thursdays 3-4 p.m. in Arjona 403. In an attempt to encourage community and support mental health, Meditation Mondays are held every Monday at 4 p.m. via WebEx.
“Rather than having students be limited to one option, we were interested in utilizing several options for students to connect and specifically creating opportunities for students who might not otherwise consider counseling,” Stevens said.