Home Opinion CAPS: Let’s Talk

CAPS: Let’s Talk

by Montana Peschler

I find myself writing when things get rough. I find myself writing when I feel the need to express myself. I find myself writing in hopes of sharing and informing other students on what they can do to improve their mental health and positive ways to handle such a heavy and confusing topic.

As a sophomore, I have overcome more obstacles than I can count. My recent experiences really made me realize that reaching out for help may not be a bad idea. Luckily, Montclair State University offers a wide variety of different services, including counseling, right on campus.

Personally, after coming out of a recent relationship, I found that I had lost myself for a few months. I looked in the mirror and saw someone else. Someone who was struggling to find what used to make them happy. Someone who used to be so carefree, yet regimented. Someone who used to not rely on smoking or alcohol to get them through tough times.

After realizing I was causing my body physical harm because my mentality was under distress, I came to the conclusion that I have to start climbing out of the dark hole I am currently in. That is when my research on Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) began.

What most people need to understand is that going to therapy is not for “crazy” or “weird” people. It is for people who want to improve their mental state and live a healthier life.

College can be stressful enough, but add in work, family, friends, relationships and more, and it almost seems impossible to focus and multitask on all these important things. The first step in improving your mental health is admitting to yourself that there is a problem or delay with how you are feeling. I processed this in my head a while ago but never thought about going to talk to someone because I was honestly scared. I realized I could not keep going down the wrong path and wanted my old self back.

At Montclair State, CAPS is a supportive service that allows students to talk about their struggles in a safe, nonjudgmental space located in Russ Hall. As a part of the University Health and Counseling Services, CAPS is a free way to get out your personal issues and realize that you are not alone.

If interested in making an appointment, the first step is to call and do a quick phone interview to express what led you to contact CAPS. Once the phone interview is complete, an appointment is scheduled within the week. Be prepared to fill out a little bit of paperwork (everything remains confidential) and then talk with a counselor.

You can expect your first session to last around an hour and a half. If a one-on-one session seems too much or too serious, CAPS also offers group therapy. Some groups have different themes, which is great for expressing feelings or concerns such as anxiety.

Along with short-term individual counseling and group therapy, CAPS is available for one-on-one walk-in sessions. You can find walk-in counseling all over campus in places such as the library, Student Center and Blanton Hall. To see more information regarding CAPS, visit their website.

Many students have benefited from CAPS and just knowing that their services are here and available. One student who looked into CAPS is sophomore Mia Albert. Like myself, she feels that no matter what one is dealing with, it is nice to know someone is there to help.

“If you have [a] problem or are struggling, CAPS can help,” Albert said. “No matter how big or small the problem is, you can find someone there to help and who is willing to listen. They also offer ways to cope with what you are dealing with.”

Overall, I find myself writing when things get rough. That is just one of the many ways I have learned how to cope with different obstacles. Writing about my day or problems helps me feel more organized. I feel it is a healthy way to process all of my thoughts and release negative energy. I usually write before I go to bed to clear all of my thoughts.

Many people cope differently, but CAPS provides different suggestions on how to help yourself get through difficult times, like writing. If you or someone you know is struggling, do not be afraid to contact CAPS because they are here for a reason.

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