Confronting the gap in campus mental health resour...

Confronting the gap in campus mental health resources

I’m tired of Northwestern and the pain everyone seems to be doing their best to hide.
I spend more time than I should walking around campus exceedingly worried because I assume people don’t really want to deal with me, nor even look at me.
Maybe it says something important about campus culture that makes acknowledging each other a high risk situation, or maybe it says something about my overactive amygdala.
I’m inclined to believe it’s probably both. Like many of my peers, I’ve actively combated this in little ways on the daily by letting myself trust my fellow students and smile more often. When it works, it’s really cathartic.
But sometimes nothing is cathartic.
Last year, after visiting CAPS, I was referred to a psychologist’s beautiful sky rise office in Chicago that specialized in what I was going through. When I arrived, they told me not to worry about the money, that my insurance would take care of it and they’d talk to my parents for me.
Relief. It knew it was too good to be true, but it was my first time going to a psychologist and I let myself be naive because I needed the care. A couple months later, when my family was hit with the bill, it was devastating.
So I never went back there or anywhere.

Until this quarter, when I was pointed to Urban Balance.
Their model centers on the belief that quality mental health care should be affordable and accessible to all people. Urban Balance is a Chicagoland endeavor that has an Evanston office on Grove. Copays per session are $20.
Now, $20 per session, each week for a whole quarter….
The money adds up. But this is a different situation than the hundreds of dollars per session insured people are paying at the gorgeous offices downtown.
I encourage you to reach out to them if you want to be part of their services to see what payment options are available. The website lists each employee and their specialty, which helps immensely to understand what they offer, and it might be worth it.
Please don’t read this as an endorsement of their services, but please do read this as an offered resource. The Family Institute (at Northwestern) and Chicago Women’s Health Center are two other examples of affordable and sliding-scale model counseling.
I hope that we continue to make our best efforts to share these resources with each other. Northwestern has a myriad of resources of which we are unaware, because they fail to communicate them all clearly to students.
So make sure you check in with Student Enrichment Services if you’re looking for help with finding a doctor, dealing with a broken laptop or need a winter coat. Or, check in with your favorite faculty member if you need help with study abroad, registration or anything else on campus. (It was a professor that directed me to Urban Balance in the first place.)
And make the time to check in with your favorite loved one if you want to talk about your mental or physical health.
Please spread the word.
Loving you and my Northwestern community always,


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