Depression and anxiety can be a struggle for many college students. It happened to Jill Arany. Now she is about to graduate with her masters degree and has already landed her dream job after overcoming these hurdles personally.
“There is a difference between being sad and being depressed,” explains Arany. She shares her story today how the death of her grandmother during her senior year of high school impacted her academics and college experience. Free help is available on campus if your child is struggling with depression, anxiety, or any other mental health issues.
“Don’t let having a mental illness deter you from going to a university because it is manageable and there are ways around it,” stresses Arany.
Questions Answered Today:
What can a school do to help?
High schools and universities can always help provide accommodations for testing. There is a lot of free support and many resources available to students that feel they are struggling with depression, anxiety, a learning disability, or any other mental illness.
Where Arany attended college, there was a department of Accessibility Services that helped to grant her extended time on course exams and also spaced them apart more during the week with at least one day between tests.
“I think the stigma of mental health is shifting, these resources are becoming a lot more evident and students are using them more,” says Arany.
Some other accommodations that can be available include:
- Extended time on exams
- Having a test read aloud to you
- Small group testing
- Scribes that can help circle answers
- Computerized testing
- Note-takers for your classes
- Free counseling
Arany was unaware of all the resources available to her until she sought these options through her school.
How do you learn about what services are available?
“The ones I was involved with were called Disability Services or Disability and Access Services,” states Arany.
The department responsible for providing accommodations can usually be found with other services provided on campus, but you can always ask the registrar for more information.
Smaller universities are better able to accommodate students than larger scale campuses. A smaller population at the university makes assistance easier.
Arany found that, in her situation, the professors were always willing to help and were very understanding. She had some slight trouble with her peers and the stigma attached to mental illness. As more people found out about her accommodations, they themselves were able to seek resources for themselves because they were unaware of the services available.
Who determines if you can get accommodations?
For Arany, she simply needed a doctor’s note. She sat down with her doctor and discussed what might help her and what she would feel comfortable with. Each university has a different protocol and separate requirements.
“They do make accommodations for all various levels of education,” shares Arany.
Accommodations do not go onto your permanent record, so you must speak up for yourself. If you know that your child struggles, you have to go into the registrar and look into what is available on campus. Arany suggests browsing the university’s website and seeing what is available.
Are there outside resources available?
Arany enjoys sharing her story to help break down the stigma associated with mental illness. There are lots of books and support groups out there online or on campus. Counselors are a great resource and medication can be prescribed by a doctor if they feel it meets your needs.
LINKS AND RESOURCES:
- Jillian Arany
- Instagram: @jillianarany // @jilliansrunningjourney
- Facebook: Jillian Margaret // Jillian Arany
- Twitter: @jillianarany
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Brad is not affiliated with Jillian Arany.