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Managing Your Mental Health as a College Student

Managing Your Mental Health as a College Student

Advice for Achieving Work/Life/School Balance

We all feel stress and anxiety from time to time, which is why it’s important to reach out when you need help. Whether it’s taking some time for self-care or seeking a counselor to talk to, there’s never a bad time to improve your well-being. 

Counseling and Psych Services (CAPS) is one of many services offered at the University of Arizona’s Campus Health, in addition to physical health support like doctor’s appointments and vaccinations. For 10 years running, Campus Health has been ranked among the top 4% of Best Health Services in the Princeton Review’s “Best Colleges” rankings.

Dr. Leslie Ralph, Psychologist and Coordinator of Mental Health Promotion & Communication at CAPS, shares her expert tips for feeling your best at the University of Arizona. 

  1. Take care of yourself 
    Dr. Ralph recommends that all students have a self-care routine, starting with the basics of getting enough sleep and food. 

    Self-care also includes taking time for yourself, enjoying time with others and having fun during your college experience. Schedule some time each week to grab a meal with friends, watch your favorite movie or enjoy a workout at Campus REC

  2. Check out CAPS
    CAPS is the University of Arizona’s hub for mental health care. There are plenty of options for one-on-one counseling, support groups, workshops, and more. 

    In the words of Dr. Ralph, “Whatever your goals or needs are, CAPS will collaborate with you in creating a personalized mental health care plan.”

    To get started, students can make a consultation appointment through their PatientLink or call (520) 621-3334. CAPS can connect you with providers by specialty area, identities, insurance, and availability. They also offer Resource & Referral Appointments to help students find care and support off-campus.

    CAPS also has many site-based counselors embedded in different academic colleges and Cultural and Resource Centers, making it easier to find help when you need it.

    According to CAPS, top reasons for students seeking help include anxiety, depression, stress, family and friend concerns, and life transitions. If you ask current students, CAPS really can make a difference:

  • 87% of students said they would recommend CAPS to a friend.
  • 83% of students said that CAPS was critically important.
  • 77% of students said CAPS increased their overall resilience
  1. Use your resources
    College students deal with lots of different challenges, so it’s important to remember there are different types of resources here on campus. 

    For instance, Wildcats can get help with their classes through Think Tank tutoring or find community at one of our Cultural and Resource Centers. In addition, the Basic Needs program helps students get food, clothes, and other essentials. Most programs are free and available to any student with their CatCard. 

    Arizona has a lot of additional resources to help you, and we know it can be overwhelming to try and find them all. Luckily, CAPS has a list made for you.

  2. Look out for your friends
    College can be tough, but you don’t have to do it alone. It always helps to have a group of people you feel safe with, and support each other. 

    “It’s never a bad time to check in or to ask for help for yourself,” Dr. Ralph said.

    CAPS offers community-based programs, ranging from peer-led support groups to yoga classes to help you connect with other students while improving your mental health. They also have a peer-counseling program, so you can talk with a fellow student. 

For more mental health resources, visit

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