Over 60 million Americans per year are diagnosed with mental illness, and yet of that 60 million, around 40 percent fail to seek proper health care. This is in large part because of the stigma that surrounds mental health care, and the common perception that only crazy people seek psychiatric therapy or group counseling. Considering that 20 percent of young adults worldwide suffer from some sort of mental illness, NYU students suffering from mental illness should take advantage of the many wellness services available on campus. All students should feel comfortable seeking mental health care to stay healthy and stave off early signs of illness.
Routine mental healthcare should not be considered a sign of instability or insanity in the same way that routine trips to the dentist do not signify a mouthful of rotting teeth. All young adults, even those who are not mentally ill, experience varying degrees of stress and anxiety, and if unchecked, they can snowball into real mental illness. It makes little sense to wait until the problem is out of control before trying to do something about it, especially when effective, low-cost treatments are readily available.
Quality mental healthcare is a valuable resource in the world outside NYU, especially for those who need it to remain healthy in their everyday lives. As many are already aware, NYU offers a toll-free 24-hour Wellness Exchange hotline, which can be reached at (212)443-9999. In addition, psychiatric therapy is available to students with a maximum out-of-pocket expense of $30 per session. This is a steal considering that, without insurance, the average hour-long therapy session can cost up to $240. NYU also offers various group counseling services, wellness workshops, and psychological exams — all useful avenues of support that can help people to deal with stress and identify unhealthy behaviors before they become habits.
While stigmas surrounding people who go to therapy still abound, they are no reason to deny oneself the ability to stay happy and healthy. Mental health is equally as important as physical fitness, and signs of illness can manifest in ways not immediately clear. Just taking an hour every few months to talk to a professional can be extremely helpful in ways that talking to a friend or relative can’t be, and moving into the second semester it is important to at least consider a service that could ultimately be lifesaving.
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