Critical mental health resources available for graduate students at ASU

According to a recent study in Nature Biotechnology , there is a mental health crisis in graduate education. "Graduate students are more than six times as likely to experience depression and anxiety as compared to the general population” the study says. 

At ASU, we know mental health is an essential aspect of wellbeing. Because of the unique pressures of graduate school, it’s important for grad students to take part in mental health services provided by ASU when they feel they need counseling.

Erin Trujillo, director of ASU Counseling Services, said graduate students experience a great deal of stress as they stretch to attain a higher level of professional growth.  “They’re working to become an expert,” said Trujillo. “They’re working to sit at the same table as the people they’ve read about and respected for their professional expertise.”

There is also more time involved. Doctoral students may commit to up to six years of education. This education can be quite narrowly focused, “which has its own marathon effect,” said Trujillo.

The stress doesn’t just end at graduation. Graduate students face the added pressure of finding a high-level job or a tenure-track teaching position after graduation.

Teri Pipe, Chief Well-Being Officer of ASU says that by practicing mindfulness or engaging in counseling services proactively, students may find relief from stress sooner than if they are only engaging reactively. Students may even be able to bypass major levels of stress.  

ASU also offers bilingual counseling for Spanish speakers. Lilia Miramontes, assistant director at ASU Counseling Services, says mental health can be especially difficult for students who come from other states or countries “where they have to assimilate to the cultural changes” of being in the United States. Because of this, ASU does have Spanish-English bilingual counselors.

ASU Counseling Services is located on every campus. But if time during the day is a struggle, Therapy Assistance Online, known as TAO Connect, may be a good alternative for you. TAO Connect is a free, self-help app for emotional health that can help you manage stress and relationships.  Just remember to sign in with your ASU email.

To make a counseling appointment, visit ASU Counseling Services or call them at 480-965-6146. If it’s a crisis, call EMPACT’s 24-hour ASU-dedicated crisis hotline at 480-921-1006. You can also text HOME To 741741 for the crisis text line.

Remember that you are never alone. We all need a little help on our academic journeys. Just like school, mental health is a process that deserves your time and dedication.