Getting Help

Barriers to Getting Help

Even though there has been an increase in the use of mental health services at Counseling and Psychological Services at UC Berkeley and APIs make up 35% of the student population at Cal, APIs underutilize counseling services as compared to Caucasian students. Some of the reasons why fewer APIs seek out counseling could include:

  • Cultural stigma associated with mental health and seeking help.
  • Belief that you can do this on your own or can "will" yourself to get better.
  • Fear of letting your family down and/or not wanting to worry them with your problems.
  • Shame and embarrassment about not doing well and wanting to keep this "secret" to yourself.
  • Concerns that getting help with a problem is a sign of weakness.
  • Not feeling like you can afford the time to take care of yourself.
  • Fears around confidentiality.
  • Not knowing the process for seeking professional help and how to pay for it

Getting Help

Take the first step—it may be hard to do, but it will be worth it. Here are some things you can do for yourself:

  1. Try not to isolate yourself, but instead talk to a close friend, family, faculty or staff member.
  2. Many APIs experience depression and anxiety through physical symptoms. Talk to your physician if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms below.
    • Physical Symptoms of Depression
      • Sleep disturbances
      • Changes in appetite
      • Decreased energy
      • Headaches
      • Digestive problems
    • Physical Symptoms of Anxiety
      • Pounding heart
      • Shortness of breath
      • Nausea/vomiting
      • Frequent urination/diarrhea
      • Trembling/shaking
      • Sweating
      • Hot/cold flashes
  3. In some cases, sharing personal and sensitive issues with someone you know can be difficult. You might feel more comfortable talking to a trained professional who has worked with people who are dealing with depression and/or anxiety. At Counseling and Psychological Services, there is a diverse staff located not only at the Tang Center but throughout campus at various satellite offices including: Chavez Student Center, Disabled Students' Program, School of Law, International House and Evans Hall.
    Things you can expect in counseling:
    • Confidentiality and a space for support
    • Guidance to appropriate resources
  4. Thoughts of suicide are signs that the depression is severe. Remember there are supports on campus like Counseling and Psychological Services.Call us at (510) 642-9494 or visit us on the 3rd floor of Tang Center. For emergencies at night or on weekends, students can call After Hours Assistance at 1-855-817-5667 or 1-877-211-3686 for referral information.
  5. In cases of emergency when you need immediate attention, call 911 or go to your nearest Emergency Room.
  6. Additional Resources: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    • 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)
    • 1-800-784-2433 (SUICIDE)