Mental health awareness is an increasingly important topic among universities. Students should not ignore times when they need to seek help.

According to Active Minds, a nonprofit organization supporting mental health awareness and education for students, 39% of students in college experience a significant mental health issue, and two-thirds of students with anxiety or depression don’t seek treatment.

At UTA, students can look to Counseling and Psychological Services to help them with issues that can impact their daily functioning behaviors in their personal and academic life.

“We’re primarily responsible for helping students meet their personal, emotional, behavioral needs while they’re students here,” said Cynthia Manzano, Counseling and Psychological Services outreach director.

Psychology freshman Kynadi Harris said the service has helped her become more vocal and talk about issues in her life.

“The therapist that I’m with­ — he’s great,” Harris said. “He taught me things that I didn’t learn from anybody else, and that’s just from talking to him and allowing him to help me in the best way possible.”

The ability to schedule an appointment with a therapist is one more weight lifted, she said. When she’s not held down by that weight, she does better in school.

“They’ve really just helped me feel more comfortable and feel like if nobody else hears me on campus, whether that be my friends or even administration, I can go to my therapist and say what I need to say with no filter,” Harris said.

Academically, the service has helped her find motivation to succeed in a difficult first year of college.

Counseling and Psychological Services is there to help, and it’s affordable therapy, Harris said.

“A lot of times people don’t go to therapy because of finances or just feeling scared; they shouldn’t [be scared] because it’s great,” Harris said.

Education junior Gina Gutierrez said she first heard about the service during her freshman orientation.

“I feel like it’s not talked enough about,” Gutierrez said.

She said although it’s on syllabi, there isn’t enough discussion about the actual services.

When Gutierrez was a peer leader for freshmen, she remembers talking to them about the service as a resource because it helped her, and she thought it could help the incoming class as well.

Gutierrez has had the same counselor every time she’s gone, and that has helped her grow, she said.

“We’re here to kind of support them through any concerns or difficulties and hopefully help them lead a more fulfilling life,” Manzano said.

They cover a broad spectrum of problems, and the staff is diligent about finding tools to accommodate a wide range of issues, Gutierrez said.

“You don’t know how many times I’ve called and been like, ‘Hey, I can’t come in, I’m so sorry,’ and they will accommodate your every need,” Gutierrez said.

@RebekahReports7

news-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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