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COPIng with covid: Tips for college students

So, you are considering therapy, or you know someone who would benefit from therapy, yet there is something getting in the way. Take a moment to think about all the reasons someone may decide not to seek mental health treatment when needed. These are often called “barriers to care.” Acknowledging common barriers to care may help you understand and empathize with the reasons an individual may not seek treatment. This guide identifies some common barriers and provides strategies to address them.



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Can Mental Health Treatment Help Me?


For many Black/African Americans, the stigma (fear of being judged or perceived as crazy by others) of mental health treatment or the religious guilt (Maybe I should trust and have more faith in God) prevents them from seeking mental health treatment. The truth is that mental health providers are licensed professionals, who are trained to help people learn ways to manage and cope with many of life’s stressors and mental health conditions. This guide provides information about the different types of therapy, details on who can benefit from therapy, and resources for those experiencing a mental health crisis.



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How to Find a Mental Health Provider

Have you ever thought you or someone you know could benefit from mental health services, but just didn’t know where to start? This guide provides information on how to obtain a referral for mental health services (if needed by your insurance), where and how to find therapists, and how to obtain an evaluation for medication.



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Levels of Care

The frequency and intensity of mental health services depends on several factors such as your needs, symptoms, and desires.  More specifically, it is important to distinguish between when professional mental health treatment may be helpful and when mental health treatment is necessary to improve your daily functioning. This guide explains the various levels of care that are provided through mental health services to help you determine what might be best for you.



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When to Seek Urgent Mental Health Treatment

Sometimes therapy is about improving and enhancing your life, other times it can serve as a lifesaving intervention requiring immediate attention.  This may include a significant change in emotional or behavioral functioning, a decline in mood, an increase in risky behaviors, and/or thoughts of self-harm, suicide, or hurting others.  This guide lists the warning signs and symptoms that require immediate attention as well as resources you can use to help you immediately.  While we provide this information for your knowledge, if you have concerns that you or someone you know is having a mental health emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.



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which mental health provider is best for me?

After making the decision to seek mental health treatment, individuals may find it difficult to figure out what type of provider may be the most helpful.  There are a variety of factors that can influence your choice of a mental health provider including treatment goals, symptoms, severity of symptoms, and the need for medication.  This fact sheet is intended to provide you with insight into the types of mental health providers and assist you in identifying the right provider for your mental health needs.



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Finding the right therapist can be like finding the right pair of jeans…sometimes you have to try on a few before you find the right fit. The search for that special therapist that you can be honest with, get the help you need, afford to pay, and fit into your schedule can be quite overwhelming.  However, the more you know about yourself and your needs, the easier the process can be.  This guide provides you with questions to ask potential therapists and reflection questions after your first contact with that therapist, which will help you determine if that therapist is the best fit for you. 



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Long gone are the days where bullies are the biggest children on the playground or in the neighborhood. Bullying is not about physical strength. It is about power and control. Bullying may come in the form of spreading rumors, verbal threats, negative and hurtful comments, purposefully excluding someone from a group, taking something from someone else, physical attacks, and much more. This guide provides you with information about bullying including who is impacted and consequences of being bullied, questions to ask a child to discuss potential bullying, and recommendations to address bullying in schools and the community.  



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Unique Concerns Among Black LGBTQ+ Youth and Adults

The Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ+) community encounters unique mental health concerns due to the intersectionality of their race and sexual identity.  Specifically, they are members of multiple groups (i.e., racial and sexual/gender identity groups) that have experienced significant discrimination, prejudice, and bias.  This increases their risk of further oppression and may create additional barriers to mental health care. This fact sheet will provide a brief summary of the unique challenges of the Black LGBTQ+ community and identify strategies for creating change to improve the lived experiences of this under-supported population.



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healing from sexual trauma

Sexual assault is defined as any sexual activity that occurs without one’s explicit consent. Individuals who experience a sexual assault are at a higher risk of experiencing PTSD, anxiety, or depression (Smith and Segal, 2019).  If you believe that you’ve experienced any form of sexual trauma, here are a few steps to help you cope.



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Race-Based traumatic Stress

Racism is traumatic. It is a mental and public health issue, indeed. Systemic racism, or the systems

designed to maintain and perpetuate racial injustice, is associated with detrimental health effects, such as depression, anxiety, and hypertension among Black people living in the United States and globally. This fact sheet will explore race-based traumatic stress, symptoms of racial stressors, and activities that can foster nurturance, build resilience, and promote wellbeing.



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