An anonymous student writes for Exeposé, explaining that The Wellness Centre is a fabulous accolade for our campus to boast, and should be an amazing supportive environment that all students feel they can visit.
One of the main problems addressing a mental health issue is admitting the problem to yourself. It’s often easier, at least in my case, to act like nothing’s wrong and to carry on as normal.
It gets to a certain point where you notice that things aren’t really going to plan: when you can’t remember the last time you got a good nights sleep, when you can’t remember the last time you ate dinner, or lunch, or breakfast, or when you didn’t feel an overwhelming and overriding sense of pressure which has come to govern your every day life.
Instead of waxing lyrical about my own experience of identifying problems, the whole point of this perhaps rather bungled piece is an attempt to address my concern surrounding the support I’ve received since going to the doctor here on campus.
From the off-set, I’d like to say that the student health centre could not have been more helpful – the doctor I saw was incredibly supportive, and somehow managed the superhuman feat of not making me feel like a complete weirdo. After a couple more times seeing her it seemed that the right course of action for me would be to start a course of SSRIs – a kind of medication which means that my brain is more likely to hang onto the teeny weeny amount of serotonin my nerve cells make, thus helping to cancel out the general negativity I was experiencing.
SSRIs are usually most effective when they’re combined with a course of CBT, a kind of behavioural therapy which pro-actively addresses your thought processes which could be the root of the negativity. I was like, “great, sign me up, let’s knock this thing on the head so I can carry on like normal”.
Then I found out that the waiting list for an initial assessment at the wellbeing centre on campus was three and a half weeks.
The waiting list served to make me feel three ways: firstly, I felt about an inch tall and that I was trapped in this whole big game of players where, inevitably, I had no way of governing and controlling the situation how I wanted to. How dramatic. Secondly, I was angry. Why did I have to wait so long? What about other – potentially poorlier people – or those in the same boat? Thirdly, as a consequence of the above points, I was tempted to cancel my appointment. Maybe it wouldn’t be worth the wait in the end.
I didn’t cancel. My reappointment was re-scheduled but still I waited. I finally had my assessment last week. After being assessed – surprise surprise, CBT was mentioned as being potentially very helpful for me. I said “great, sign me up, sounds great, let’s knock this thing on the head so I can carry on like normal”.
Then I was told that I had to go on another waiting list. For three and a half weeks. Does this situation sound familiar?
The Wellness Centre is a fabulous accolade for our campus to boast, and should be an amazing supportive environment that all students feel they can visit. When its capacity is fit to bursting, however, students like me are inevitably thrust away, potentially feeling more defective and disillusioned than when first walking through the Wellness Centre’s door.