At this point in the semester, extreme stress and burnout are incredibly common, and it’s more than okay to ask for help. Here’s a list of my favorite campus resources at the University of New Mexico that you should look into if you’re in need of assistance.
Agora Crisis Center
The Agora Crisis Center offers several free services including but not limited to a helpline, an online emotional support chat and information on how to help yourself and others.
After meeting a few of the volunteers at Agora, I can confidently say that they are committed to helping others in every way they can. The center itself is small but it’s so clearly full of people who care about people.
According to Agora’s website, their volunteers are trained and “ready to provide compassionate, nonjudgmental help for anyone in need of emotional support.” Although Agora has a “crisis hotline” they emphasize that you don’t need to be in crisis in order to utilize their services.
Campus Office of Substance Abuse Prevention
Payment: No fees for students
New Mexico has an inordinately large problem with substance abuse. According to the Sage Neuroscience Center, “New Mexico had the 15th-highest drug overdose death rate in the United States in 2018.” Not only is this incredibly concerning, but substance use disorder and mental health are inextricably linked.
The Campus Office of Substance Abuse Prevention may not seem like a mental health resource, but according to HelpGuide, a nonprofit mental health website, substance abuse and disorders like depression and anxiety are “closely linked.” Furthermore, “of all people diagnosed as mentally ill, 29% abuse alcohol or drugs.”
COSAP has tools like screenings to measure where you fall on the alcoholism spectrum as well as mental health screenings, information on how to quit smoking and information on your own individual drinking and risk patterns.
Student Health and Counseling
Payment: One free triage session and one regular session, $15 copay or less thereafter (select insurance providers accepted)
Student Health and Counseling has been a longtime resource for students who are struggling with their mental health and, because they take most insurance options, have a cheap copay and are easily accessible on campus, it can be a better option for students than an outside provider.
SHAC has made getting counseling easier than ever with virtual appointments. As someone with anxiety, I’ve found this feature to be incredibly helpful in initializing the help-seeking process — even if it is due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
Along with providing counseling services, SHAC regularly holds informative events for students. Future events to look forward to include the Stress and Anxiety Toolbox for LGBTQIA+ Students on Dec. 1 and Coping with Endings on Dec. 7.
Women’s Resource Center
The Women’s Resource Center welcomes students who are struggling with stress, anxiety, academic pressure, traumatic experiences and more. Regardless of their name, the WRC is committed to creating a safe space for all students, no matter what race, sex, gender identity, etc. they are.
The WRC seems to be overlooked as a place to get counseling because it isn’t directly stated in the name of the center, but digging further into what resource centers on campus provide might just lead you to find a hidden gem.
According to the WRC, they partner with the UNM Counselor Education program in order to “ensure you receive competent and ethical services delivered by advanced graduate-level counseling students — who are supervised by both a licensed counselor site coordinator and licensed faculty in the Counselor Education Program.”
The WRC hosts several virtual events, such as a weekly eating disorder support group or an anonymous chat for sexual violence survivors.
These are just a few of the many great resources here on campus that UNM students have access to. More information or other resources can be found online.
Emma Trevino is the culture editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @itsemmatr