Eve Milusich '21
Mental Health Columnist
A rare moment of peace? Don't know her.
It goes without saying that college is stressful. Based on the experiences of many war-weathered upperclassmen I've spoken with (as well as my own experience so far), sometimes this stress is too much to handle alone. Your struggles are valid, as is your decision on how to tackle them. That being said, it's much easier to do so with help. Even if you're not actively in a relapse, keep in mind that you don’t have to wait for things to get worse before you can start working to feel better.
The Claremont Consortium offers a variety of valuable services, but sifting through them for the right office, the right doctor, and the right phone number, is overwhelming in itself. On a bad day when just getting out of bed seems impossible, completing this search would be a Herculean feat. So, if you ever find yourself (or a friend) in a rough spot, with little energy to reach out; here's a streamlined guide to help bridge the gap between wanting help and acquiring it. Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services (MCAPS) is home to most mental health resources across the 5Cs. Their services can be split into four categories.
Individual Therapy: Monsour offers free short-term therapy for all students, and MCAPS psychologists will treat all mental illnesses. Up to eight sessions can be used throughout the school year, per student. Therapy can be set up by appointment, with the first session as an intake. In situations of crisis, students can always meet with the on-call therapist, even if all eight sessions have already been used. MCAPS crisis line can be used reach the on-call therapist at any time including after-hours.
Group Therapy: Monsour offers weekly groups, facilitating peer-support for a variety of issues. Some of these groups are more general, while others offer support for specific issues or needs. Groups are free, and a student can attend as many or few as needed. Particular groups require an initial screening before attendance, and these appointments typically range for 20-30 minutes. In addition to traditional groups, Monsour also offers a more casual drop-in "Life-Hack Series" that focuses on common problems that affect student well-being; such as procrastination, insomnia, perfectionism, etc.
Therapist Referrals: Given that Monsour can only provide eight sessions per year, students in need of ongoing treatment are referred to professionals within the nearby community. A listing of these doctor's contact info is available on MCAPS site, but call Monsour for help narrowing down this list. MCAPS staff can help you find a therapist who will work best with you, considering your preference for gender, race, insurance carrier, and/or walking distance. The deductible fees of a community therapist can potentially be waived using the student insurance policy. This SHIP form can be downloaded from the MCAPS site.
Medication Management: Monsour psychiatrists can prescribe medication for ongoing treatments, and they can start patients on medication as well. This MCAPS' service itself is free, but students must pay for medication not covered by insurance. The wait time for an initial appointment is around 15 days but gets longer as the semester progresses. Similar to Monsour's therapy, the first appointment with a psychiatrist will serve as an intake.
To schedule or inquire about the therapy, groups, referrals, or med-management described above, call Monsour's main line at: (909) 621-8202. During after-hours, and in case of a crisis, this number can also connect you to an on-call therapist. MCAPS is found inside the Student Health Center, right next to the Honnold-Mudd Library
To all the groups running this semester, as well as their meeting times and descriptions, follow the link: https://www.cuc.claremont.edu/mcaps/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2017/03/cuc_mcaps_grpswrkshps_Fall207-final-2.pdf
For more information on the LifeHack workshop series; its dates, and locations see: https://www.cuc.claremont.edu/mcaps/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2017/03/Lifehacks-Sept-2017-1.pdf
While reaching out may still seem daunting, remember that connecting with any of the resources above can make a dramatic difference. Even if you find that Monsour isn’t right for you, support itself can help you get that much closer to a better place. More information about local and on-campus mental health resources, beyond those based in the MCAPS office, will be featured in upcoming issues as well.