Dispatches from the Future
Mental State of Mind
After four and a half years, the CSU Chico student relaxes with her family just hours before she walks herself down the aisle to receive that well deserved diploma. After a long, exhausting time at Chico, the devastating conversations this student has had drove her to the career she will be pursuing; a mental health educator and advisor for college students. She already accepted a job offer back at home at CSU San Jose. After a massive increase of need for more counselors and resources, the Health and Community Services department added a mental health educator option and highly encouraged students to follow that path. During her time, she had dealt with more mental breakdowns than even an accounting major could count. She had witnessed tears amongst students on a daily basis. She had witnessed people being hospitalized due to heat related instinses, and she was forced to say goodbye to many of her peers because of their decision to drop out.
It is 2037, and Chico has an annual average heat of about 78 degrees. As her family complains about the heat in the middle of May at around 6pm, the student explains about a heat wave Chico experienced back in September 2021 that her counselor had told her about. She explained to her family that most students were encouraged to go back home (if it was any cooler) for about two weeks, and classes would continue online. After the temperature decreased from “extreme heat” the campus reopened and people rushed through the hallways again.
Since her freshman year, she has been going to the same counselor who sees about 40 students each week. The campus had received a grant in 2030 for the counseling and wellness center to hire and employ triple amount of counselors and provide daily workshops and classes for stress management, self care tips and tricks, meditation, and to open three more Zen Dens throughout campus. The grant also requires all students to take a mental and emotional health class their freshman year and learn the basics of this topic. Students who have came from places with colder climates have the hardest time adjusting to the heat and usually require the most emotional support from counselors. Even with all of the support the campus offers, there are still individuals who never seek help which usually leads to them failing their classes, and then dropping out entirely. Climate change has had major impacts on each individual. Some of those on campus have families who have been affected by major natural disasters such as floods and fires and could potentially be dealing with devastating situations.
There have been many changes throughout the campus related to mental health throughout the last 20 years. All of which have massively increased the wellbeing of all individuals on campus. Without the help of the professional counselors and the workshops students would be forced to deal with the emotional tull the extreme heat and climate change overall has on us. Due to all the resources students are provided, graduation stats have stayed steady for the last decade. Here's to the class of 2037, go Chico State!
-- Kayla Davidson