Mental Health Resources for Graduate Students

Published: Tues., February 20, 2018

Graduate students, like all students, may sometimes experience times when they need to seek advice or support. Whether those concerns are related to a personal issue or trauma, your academic progress, or another issue altogether, there are resources available to help. Don’t hesitate to reach out when you are concerned about your own mental health or need to talk with someone.

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"Woman practicing yoga on the beach " by EGIZU Getxo Euskaldun Elkartea; licensed under CC BY 2.0

Self-care should be a part of all graduate students’ lives. This can include regular exercise, spending time with friends or family, healthy eating, partaking in hobbies that you enjoy, or any number of other activities. Every person will have a different set of activities that are important to taking care of their own physical or emotional needs; it doesn’t matter what you choose as long as it works for you. Some may choose self-care activities like meditation, cooking, or going to the gym daily. However, self-care can also mean attending to your own well being and understanding when you need support or help. People who attend their own self-care needs tend to be much happier, healthier, and more productive than those who do not.

Counselors and Therapy

Fortunately, when it comes to your mental health, all University of Nebraska-Lincoln students have an excellent resource through Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), located in Nebraska Medicine – University Health Center. Staff members are available to help with a variety of concerns including anxiety, depression, and many others.

All students who have paid their student fees are eligible to receive four free individual CAPS visits during their academic lifetime. Appointments 5-12 are $30 per session if students do not have or do not want to bill insurance. Learn more here about the costs of CAPS services. If a student has opted into the UnitedHealthcare Student Resources insurance plan through their graduate assistantship, most necessary services through CAPS are available at no out-of-pocket cost.

CAPS offers same-day appointments for students in crisis. If students are experiencing a mental health crisis after hours, please call 402-472-5000 and follow the prompts to be connected to an on-call therapist.

If you are unsure about whether you should seek help, take a free mental health screening to determine if you or someone you care about should connect with a mental health professional (at CAPS or elsewhere).

Support Groups

Did you know that there are several support groups available through CAPS? While there are some support groups specific to graduate students, all students are welcome in any support group if it is appropriate to their needs. Support groups options include: International Student Discussion, Latina Discussion and Support, Sister Circle: A Support Group for Women of Color, and Veterans, Military Members and Their Families Consultation as well as many others. CAPS even hosts a support group for graduate students navigating their research/dissertation/thesis on Fridays from 10:30-noon. Information on other process therapy or support groups can be found at this website.

Online Resources

There are also a variety of online resources, informational videos and helpful tips for a variety of common concerns among students, such as stress or anxiety. These resources are a great way to get some general advice or tips to help you manage your mental health better.

The CAPS website also maintains a list of helpful apps to help students with their mental wellness. This list even includes relaxation and meditation apps such as Calm: Meditation to Relax, Focus and Sleep Better and Headspace. Check out the full list and see if there is an app you would like to try.

Special thanks to Jamie Porter, Ashley Grundmayer, and Aimee Grindstaff and the Nebraska Medicine - University Health Center for helping with this article.