An Honest Review of On-Campus Mental Health Services

There are tons of different mental health resources available to us as college students, and I recommend taking advantage of them while you can. This can be a really stressful, overwhelming time in our lives so it’s important to be aware of the different services that we can use. I have personally struggled a lot with my mental health over the past few years, and have thus become acquainted with (what feels like) every mental health service under the sun. Please note before continuing that this is my personal experience and what works best for each person is going to be different. The main thing I want you to take away is that there are lots of different services out there, and they are worth checking out. If you are in crisis, please seek help by calling 803-777-5223 (available 24/7). 


1. Individual Counseling

Most UofSC students are aware that we’re entitled to 10 free individual counseling sessions per year, but not everyone may know the process for using these. The first step is scheduling your triage appointment using myhealthspace. The triage appointment involves going over mental health assessments and determining what service is the best fit. At this point, students are referred to an individual counselor, a psychiatrist, a support group, or other resource. I have been triaged 3 times, and I have been referred to an individual counselor once. I met with her twice before she determined that my need was too great to be accommodated, so they referred me to outside resources. I believe that scheduling your initial appointment is a great first step to seeking help, but you should go into it expecting assessment and referrals, not necessarily individual counseling. Often there is a large wait time to get a triage appointment, but I recommend scheduling anyway and then checking often to see if there have been any cancellations. They also offer walk-in appointments for crises, which are available during business hours by contacting 803-777-5223 or walking in. 


2. Group Counseling

There are a ton of group counseling options available with many different themes, from sleep to social anxiety, and students can participate in as many group sessions as they want at no cost. The group that I participated in is called “losing doubt”, which focused on growing self-confidence and getting rid of self-doubt. At first, I really enjoyed the group and attended each week. This group involved activities like worksheets and role plays, which for me worked well. My main issue with the group was that it was open, meaning that anyone could join at any time, so there were usually new members each week, especially towards the end of the semester. Personally, this really impacted my comfort level. 


3. Psychiatry 

Psychiatry is one of the few mental health resources that has a fee associated with it ($45 per visit). My visit with psychiatry was really straight-forward; I discussed my symptoms with the provider and then he suggested different medication options, going over potential side effects and what I would and wouldn’t be comfortable with. They also set up a follow-up at the first appointment to see how the medication is working for you. 


4. Wellness Coaching 

Wellness coaching is a free resource available to students with no cap. This is not strictly a mental health resource; in addition to building resiliency and stress management they also focus on sleep, healthy eating and exercise. Wellness coaching is definitely a more preventative resource; I recommend this service when you first start to notice stress or burnout. I really enjoyed my wellness coaching experience; she helped me figure out a healthier workload balance and walked me through a really difficult decision that I had to make.  


5. Center for Community Counseling

If you are having difficulty getting scheduled with the Thomson Counseling Center, another free resource in the area is the Center for Community Counseling. When I was referred out of Thomson, I started seeing a counselor here and it has been a great experience; I was put in the schedule quickly and able to set up more flexible appointment times. 


There is no shame in seeking help for your mental health. If you or a loved one are struggling, please consider using one of these resources.