It seems as though suicides are being covered in the media more frequently, meaning that deteriorating mental health can no longer be ignored.
Four students in Rancho Cucamonga committed suicide all within a span of two weeks last month.
They ranged in age from 10 to 16 years old.
Well-known rapper Mac Miller was found dead by overdose on Friday.
Fashion designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain died by suicide within three days of each other in June.
Mental well-being is important for everyone to manage. The lack of awareness and, especially, the lack of adequate resources for mental health support threaten the most vulnerable among us.
The mission of the University of La Verne’s Counseling and Psychological Services office is “to educate and to promote personal growth and psychological well-being for students” all across campus.
Unfortunately, sending one memo out at the beginning of the semester – emphasizing caring about not only yourself but others around you, and offering only 10 free therapy sessions per year – is the bare minimum of mental health support, and not enough for many of us.
The 10 sessions per year are extremely helpful, and they provide crucial services to students in need, but they hardly cover the length of a semester.
Not to mention that the referrals provided to students who surpass their 10 sessions are for private psychologists and psychiatrists with high rates, although some, or very few, may offer financial help.
The question we all need to be asking is where is the help for the students who are financially incapable of continuing treatment once those sessions run out?
The University offers a food bank to students who need it. An amazing first step nonetheless, it still provides minimal psychological treatment for students who are struggling both financially and mentally.
If the University can manage to pull the community together in order to support the students who may have needed help just getting the necessary food for survival, why can it not do the same in regards to mental health treatment?
The help provided in the aspect of that struggle alone is appreciated greatly, but it still is not the answer to providing efficient mental health practices to the students who have nowhere to turn once their 10 sessions are up.
We, as a community, cannot begin to combat the horrible consequences that we all face when deteriorating mental health leads to death if we do not learn to help everyone who needs it.
As a community we need to start demanding adequate mental health resources for all, and not just providing it to those financially incapable if and only if they are facing an emergency.
We should not be forcing our fellow community members who are struggling financially to hit rock bottom in order for them to be given the help they deserve.
We need to start helping each other for the sake of keeping each other alive and for the sake of providing each other support, not for the sake of a dollar sign.
The University needs to find a way to provide CAPS with resources that stretch further than just how far a person’s money can take them.
Whether that be by providing courses on how to apply for low-income health insurance, considering a change to the limit on sessions from a yearly basis to a semester basis, or even just bringing the community together to find a way to donate or discuss what can be done to help the suffering individuals, it does not matter.
Something needs to change.