Prioritizing mental health as a Cleveland State student

The Cleveland State University Counseling Center is located in the Union Building, above Rascal House. Photo by Molly Bregar

Coming out of online learning, students and faculty have been thrust back into on-campus learning full force this semester. Without a slow shift to fully in-person classes, many students and faculty members felt a shock as the fall semester began.

Apart from workloads and having to get ready for classes instead of just rolling out of bed, a hard part of coming back to in-person classes has been the simple act of interacting with people. While this may come easy to some people, many students felt increased anxiety surrounding in-person classes.

Students and faculty members may still struggle with the pandemic itself, and be putting themselves at risk by being in close contact with such a large on-campus presence.

While attending campus fully in person has been difficult for much of the student body, the Cleveland State University Counseling Center has been here to help.

“Since returning to on-campus learning, we have seen an increase in students seeking mental health support,” said Brittany Sommers, the director of the counseling center.

She attributes this partly to the pandemic’s effect on students, explaining that “the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has increased grief, disruption, and isolation for many students.” Sommers “encourage[s] students to prioritize their mental health as we continue to move through the pandemic” by utilizing the center’s resources.

It is great that students and faculty are prioritizing their mental health during such a rough transition period. Mental health affects virtually every aspect of people’s lives: it can affect their ability to sleep and eat, their physical health, their social life, and much more. The counseling center offers a variety of resources to students, including individual counseling, couple’s counseling, group counseling, case management, and psychiatry.

Students can access free counseling and several support groups, such as Law Student Support Hour, Taming the Anxious Mind, Trans* Student Support Hour, and Wise Minds: Building Skills for Acceptance and Change.

Despite an influx in appointments, the Counseling Center is easily accessible, offering both in-person and virtual sessions. To get connected with the center, Sommers advises students to call the counseling center at 216-687-2277 to schedule a phone screening with one of our counselors.

“That screening allows us to get a sense of your concerns and connect you to the best support options. Urgent in-person or phone appointments are available 1-3 M-F. Outside of business hours, students can call the same number and stay on the line to speak with a counselor.”

The employees at the Counseling Center are here to help students. They truly care about each individual’s well-being. Please do not hesitate to meet with a counselor, even if you’re not sure that you really need to. Mental health issues should not be taken lightly, and students should not be forced to sacrifice their mental health for education. Take advantage of the great resources CSU students are provided with in the Counseling Center.

Author: Dina Usanovic

I am an English and Political Science major at CSU in my third year at the university. I love writing for the Cauldron and I'm so excited to bring student opinions to the forefront of university news!