USC mental health offerings are inaccessible for some students – Annenberg Media

Students have mixed feelings about USC’s on-campus mental health resources.

It’s a new school year and the problem of access to mental health care persists. Students who are under pressure and need support turn to USC mental health services to get the help they need.

For Annie Zheng, a junior specializing in media and art practices, it’s a hit-or-miss situation. She has had some positive therapy sessions but felt that some therapists were not listening to her needs.

“I just felt like my concerns weren’t really being addressed,” Zheng said. “And I left the appointments feeling like I wasn’t getting the help I needed.”

USC Health offers students a number of mental health resources such as: B. Drop-in appointments on Zoom, one-on-one workshops, individual counseling or group counseling sessions. All are accessible through the students’ MySHR portal.

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Still, Zheng believes that because providers don’t meet with students often enough, they are unable to understand students’ individual needs.

Finding what you need can also be a problem.

“I went online to USC and just googled USC mental health resources,” said sophomore Emma Perez. “They have a lot of different things, which is very overwhelming at first.”

When Perez booked her first appointment, it was cancelled. “I went online to [re]book and there really were no available dates for the UPC campus so I had to book it with the HSC within two weeks at the earliest,” she said.

Daphne Yaman, a sophomore majoring in journalism, shared a different experience of mental health services at USC.

“I think USC has done a good job of promoting mental health awareness to the best of its ability,” she said. Yaman has no problem making appointments and sees her therapist regularly. She said, “The therapist that I have now, who is through USC, is the best therapist I have ever had in my life and I am very, very grateful to her.”

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From virtual drop-ins and one-on-one workshops to Let’s Talk appointments, USC offers a variety of mental health resources. However, the process of obtaining these services may not be easy enough for some students.

Sam Hill, a second-year English student, thinks that an optimized system would benefit students. “I think just sending out a school-wide email or just having that information somewhere you can see it where you don’t necessarily have to search to find it,” Hill said.

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There are additional options for students who are not seeking therapy or are looking for free mental health services. Mindful USC, a service of the Office of the Provost, offers mindfulness classes, workshops, events, and drop-in sessions for students.

Co-director Allyson Pimentel says the organization is “increasing class size and diversifying offerings” as demand for undergraduate mental health services has increased.

However, Mindful USC should not be confused with on-campus mental health professionals. “It’s not a treatment. It is not a visit to a doctor or therapist. We offer our life skills and tools to help lead life in a more informed way,” said Pimentel.

Students seeking support from USC mental health services can find a list of resources here.

Call (213) 740-9355 to access the 24-hour USC Student Health hotline.

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