The Observer

Ask a Psych Major

Hi there! Welcome to the Ask a Psych Major submission portal! Congrats, you found it! The actual submission space can be found at the bottom of this page, but first I would like to introduce myself and the purpose of this portal.

My name is Ethan and I am a third-year student here at CWRU studying psychology with a double minor in theater and photography. I am also involved in two research labs on campus looking at various psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse, as well as conducting my own research. Therefore, I have knowledge on topics like how therapy works, differences between therapeutic styles and mental health strategies—as well as knowledge about how our understanding of psychology came to be.

Furthermore, in conducting research on campus, I have had the opportunity to lead teams of undergraduate and graduate students in studying areas such as cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques, general stress, addiction and anxiety. My research experience also means I have a working knowledge of current literature from which I can draw to answer your inquiries.

That said, I am not a professional nor a mental health or psychology expert. But, I do have experience with these areas and I wanted to start this portal because I noticed that on campus, stress, specifically an unhealthy amount of stress, has become normalized. Consequently, things like sleep deprivation, skipping meals and mental breakdowns are worn like badges of honor. So, I wanted to help!

Whether you’re looking for advice, mental health strategies or there’s just a psychology related topic you’d like to know more about, go ahead and ask away! Your submissions can be completely anonymous or you may include your name; however, we will not be printing your name in the article responses.

Beyond my academic and research background, I will also draw on internet research to answer your inquiries. Certified mental health blogs, published research articles, and when necessary, my own professors in the psychology department will all be consulted to ensure I am giving you the best advice I can. Finally, if you have questions about how University Health and Counseling Services (UHS) works on campus, I can act as a liaison and contact them to answer your inquiries about finding mental health help here on campus.

I know that signing up for therapy can be stressful, especially during this pandemic with other factors in play. Moreover, the influx of students in need of counseling has, in some regards, overwhelmed UHS. Namely, students are reporting a three-week wait before they can have one meeting with a counselor. As such, I hope that this portal will help fill a gap that currently exists on campus. UHS is an extremely important office, and it is critical that all students have access to their free mental health resources. However, the mere presence of a counseling office is insufficient. Many students—especially those struggling with mental health issues—can easily feel overwhelmed trying to navigate UHS’ website, find information about mental health and healthy coping mechanisms, or seek out alternative care if the wait time is more than a week.

As such, this portal seeks to fill that gap by being a safe place for anyone to inquire about mental health and psychology issues, or how to access adequate services while on or off campus.

Hopefully, my responses to your queries—which will be published in The Observer newsletter Opinion section—can give you some piece of mind, or just a stronger foundation and information on what to expect in therapy to be able to get the best out of your therapy experience.

I will consider all conversations confidential, but please know that if you share that you are considering any form of self-harm (and share personal identification information) I will have to report the information to UHS.

On that note, know that this is not a place to obtain a diagnosis, nor is it therapy or should be considered a substitute for therapy. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicide or other severe mental health issues and are a CWRU student, please contact 216-368-5872 to reach a counselor on-call, or 216-368-3333 for immediate emergency assistance. Both lines are readily available to help you—so do not hesitate to call or contemplate whether your issue is urgent “enough.” Finally, if you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or actions please call 800-273-8255 to reach the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Hotline.


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