By Aayushi Datta
Boston University News Service
In a demonstration of solidarity and care, the campus community came together on Oct. 5, 2023 to support students’ mental health and wellbeing. Throughout the morning, students turned out in significant numbers to check in on their mental health and connect with experts on campus.
“I think it really demonstrates to the community that there are many people on campus that care for students’ mental health and wellbeing,” said Katherine Mooney, Director of Health Promotion & Prevention at Student Health Services.
The campus environment, while academically rigorous, presents unique challenges for new students adapting to college life.
“The culture and community here can be overwhelming for students, and there can be various reasons why they may feel this way, from academic pressure to homesickness,” Mooney said.
The campus has implemented various programs to address students’ mental health concerns. The Health Promotion & Prevention office offers a wide array of resources including the mindfulness workshop and peer listening program which was created in collaboration with the student government.
Sherri Crowley, an evaluation clinician at Student Health Services, emphasized the importance of reaching out for help.
“It can be really hard to ask for help, and it can feel intimidating to talk with a professional. So if talking with a knowledgeable peer feels like a good starting point for someone, that would be a great program to utilize,” Crowley said.
The counseling services focus on making the process as comfortable as possible for students.
“We ask everyone the same questions about symptoms and situations, and then we help them get connected to whatever resources make the most sense, whether it’s individual therapy with a therapist or joining one of our many support groups,” Crowley said.
Navigating college life can be a monumental challenge, particularly for new students experiencing a significant transition.
“Rigorous academic environment for new students who are sort of adapting to being college students, and the culture and community here, there can just be a lot of reasons why students may be feeling overwhelmed.” Mooney said, “In the first week of October, this is often a time, particularly for new students, when kind of a honeymoon period of being on campus and being a new student starts to fade.”
By fostering an environment where students can openly discuss their mental health concerns, the campus is ensuring that no student feels alone in their journey by giving them a more comfortable option of reaching out to their peers.
Students, faculty, and staff alike continue to work together to create a supportive environment where everyone feels valued and cared for. The Student health Services,
“I would say, there are a lot of ways to sort of keep in touch with Student Health Services,” Mooney said. She said that they have a very active Instagram account with information about the different programs and offerings and a monthly student newsletter.