Our Campus. Our Mental Health.
Letter from the President and Executive Editor
Why we are devoting a day of coverage to mental health
In our three-and-a-half years working at The Daily Pennsylvanian, close to 10 students have died by suicide, a statistic as remarkable to write as it is now commonplace to hear across campus. With each email from some Penn administrator, we have grown to numb ourselves to feeling pain, to mourning the death of someone close to us, to finally attaching a name to the problem of mental illness endemic to so many at Penn.
Mental health is an intensely personal topic, shaped inexorably by the circumstances, preferences and lifestyle of an individual person. A conversation about mental health can take a variety of forms. What it cannot tolerate is silence.
For months, the DP and Street have been coordinating a day completely devoted to coverage of mental health.
By no less than a happy accident, the publication of our special issue on mental health falls on the same day as a “Campus Conversation” organized by Penn administrators to discuss “what we can do, individually and collectively, to take care of ourselves and others and to foster individual and community resilience.”
In announcing the event, Penn officials wrote, “A community that values wellness, community support, and resilience is best poised to find creative and constructive solutions to our challenges.” We could not agree more with the spirit of this statement and hope that in these pieces, interested readers can find a multitude of ways to begin confronting those difficult, necessary challenges.
Carter Coudriet, President
Dan Spinelli, Executive Editor
Content on this page was created by the staff of The Daily Pennsylvanian and 34th Street Magazine. Page by Andrew Fischer and Brady Africk
From athletes stacked with hectic schedules to LGBTQ students navigating specific the social dynamics of Grindr, here are some of the real stories that describe how students think about their mental health.
Penn administrators have worked to improve policies surrounding mental health, but gaps still exist. These articles examine the policies that are in place, how they serve students, how they don’t and whether they’re enough.
The University has a range of resources available for students looking to improve their mental wellness, but they can be difficult to navigate. Here’s a guide on where to go.
A hyper-competitive, pre-professional culture is just one of the many factors that make Penn stressful. From music to (free) yoga, find ways to take care of yourself on campus.
Grindr and Gay Loneliness
How Grindr culture is hurting our mental health.
Calvary Rogers | The need to destigmatize therapy
Trust me when I say this; we should all be seeing a therapist.
Sleep Deprivation Won't Cure My Depression
The mental fog rolled over often, shrouding the different lobes of my brain.
DiGregorio | How I cope with mental health issues as a student-athlete
But I do think we can always try to do more in our everyday lives to just be kind to one another. It doesn’t cost any time or energy to smile at the person walking into Van Pelt as you’re walking out. No one will ever be worse off if you tell your friends you love them just a little more often. Ask a friend how they’re doing. You may not know it, but that person might breathe a whole lot easier because of you.
Living with PTSD at Penn
I try to be kind to myself.
Jessica Li | Acknowledging culture in our mental health discussions
Mental health may be a general term, but in reality, it looks so different to so many different people, especially to various communities and cultural groups on campus.
Music Helps Me Cope with Anxiety
How I learned to use music as a self–help tool.BACK
Why Penn's lack of details after a student death can add a burden for those most intimately affected
“It is important that the death be addressed openly and directly. After a suicide, once the basic facts are known, any attempt to delay informing students will only encourage rumors.”
'Alone in my grief': why some students are left to mourn alone when a classmate dies
When former College student Aran Rana of the Class of 2019 died in Hong Kong this year, his closest friends found out in the same way and at the same time that over 10,000 other undergraduates did: five paragraphs in an email notification from the University.
Snow | Penn Athletics must allow a conversation on mental health and wellness
Student-athletes at Penn have some of the hardest jobs in the world. They wake up early. They practice in the evenings so they have to stay up late to work. They sometimes have to cut or gain significant weight in a short period of time. They get injured — and they often play through it. They get concussions, and later in their lives, many of them suffer long-term consequences from it.
Competitive culture and administrative delays: Students dissect challenges to mental wellness at Penn
The forum was held at the Civic House on Oct. 25 amid other initiatives to talk about mental health at Penn, including a University-wide survey and "campus conversation."
Guest Column by Edward Jing | We need to address club recruitment processes
The club recruitment process is one of the first stressors that new students encounter when they arrive at Penn, and it has wide-ranging effects on both student life and mental health.
How Penn's mental health efforts have evolved in the past 70 years
While many students today will recognize mental health as one of the perennial topics of conversation within the student body and between students and the administration, few will know Penn's long history with the issue. To provide some context for where the University stands today, The Daily Pennsylvanian put together a timeline of the major decisions that have shaped mental health at Penn.
Isabella Simonetti | Addressing the anxieties of the transition to college
How is a freshman supposed to make sense of all the tragedy that has struck Penn? And how can they ensure that they will be immune to the mental health issues that plague its campus?BACK
Mental Health Resources at Penn
34th Street Video presents an illustrated guide to mental health and wellness resources at Penn.
Penn students and faculty share the process, challenges and costs of taking psychiatric medication
“Penn is just really demanding,” College freshman Jamie Albrecht said. “Being un-medicated when you have [a mental health issue] here is just really difficult.”
Photo Essay | A tour of Counseling and Psychological Services
Despite all of the discussion surrounding mental health resources on campus, only about 15 percent of students regularly step into the offices of CAPS. Here's an inside look into the CAPS office.
CAPS says students decide when their treatment ends — but students disagree
We decided to take this opportunity to explore CAPS and give students a better idea of what goes on in the CAPS office.
From tackling eating disorders to overcoming isolation — a look into new Penn Wellness initiatives
Penn Wellness said the group has been able to fund four times the number of initiatives compared to previous years because of greater awareness of the funding available.
Given the recent threats to Obamacare, do Penn students need to worry about access to mental health care?
As the Trump administration continues to undermine and take apart the Affordable Care Act, students are beginning to question how potential changes in federal health care laws may affect their access to both physical and mental health care.BACK
Practicing yoga regularly can improve mental wellness — but cost can be a problem
Yoga has become increasingly popular among adults in the United States for stress-reduction, but few low-cost options to practice yoga are available near campus.
How student leaders support their members in the face of traumatic events
“I tend to think that there’s some value in leaders accepting their own vulnerability. That’s how you form a connection to other people, and maybe that’s how you offer support.”
After leaving Penn sports, former student-athletes find time for new passions
Saying goodbye to something you love is never easy. For a number of former Penn student-athletes, however, the most difficult move of their lives often ends up being the most necessary.
Music on (and about) Mental Health
Finding ways to express mental health struggles through music
Why the mind matters: Sports psychology and Penn Athletics
Positive self-talk. Relaxation. These are skills that seem imperative to get through collegiate life, let alone life as a college athlete. This is exactly what all three men stressed: how important it is to translate these skills off the field, and how crucial it is for those not competing in Division I athletics to execute these mental skills as well.
Sarah Khan | It will get better
Opinion Art: It will get better
Music, Mental Health, and Fame
How music both helps and hurts mental healthBACK