Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Mental health information and resources

Jake Mireles

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Over 60% of college students met the criteria for at least one mental health problem — an increase of almost 50% in ten years. Several efforts to increase awareness and promote conversations have helped reduce the stigma and as a result, there are many actions to improve or maintain mental health available. Here are a few tips and free or low-cost local resources to aid yourself or others.

How to reach out

Often, the first barrier to seeking out mental health help is asking for help. Beyond societal stigma exist cultural taboos and internalized judgment that prevent many from reaching out. To begin to process, start with self-compassion. Humans instinctively focus on perceived threats and negatives and, therefore, try to check and fight destructive thoughts. Writing down and recollecting positive moments produces a list of examples to prove the temporality of the situation and can be referred to when redirecting negative thoughts. Remember that statistically, you are not alone in facing any mental health challenges.

Next, reach out to someone you trust, whether that be a family member, friend or someone else in your community, like a professor or faith leader. There are people who care and would be happy to help you. Being vulnerable may strengthen relationships; that person may know resources or others who can further help you. You do not need to know what to say. Simply venting avoids bottling up emotions that can lead to crisis. You do not have to wait for it to get better or worse before reaching out —- come as you are.


UTSA offers several resources for mental well-being. Students can also receive anonymous screening services online through eCHECKUP.

Individual counseling is available on the Main Campus at Wellness 360, located in the building facing the Rec (RWC 1.500). Counseling staff can confidentially discuss anxiety, depression, eating and substance abuse disorders, low self-esteem, and other psychological stressors affecting students. To make an appointment for individual counseling, call

(210) 458-4142 or request a meeting in person.

The check-in process for scheduled counseling appointments begins with signing into the MyHealth portal. Enter your birthdate, select the option to check in for an appointment on the homepage, scroll to the currently scheduled appointments and select your time. Required forms will appear.

Group counseling is available weekly. Topics for Spring 2024 have included Healing After Trauma, Anxiety and Depression Toolkit, and Vibing with Difficult Situations. Sessions are generally offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Magnolia Room of the Student Union (2.01.30). For future sessions, visit the UTSA Wellbeing Services on RowdyLink.

Emergency drop-ins for crisis and urgent problems can be done at Wellness 360 for 20-30 minutes, after which students will be referred to additional resources.

TimelyCare is a mobile application and website that provides 24/7 support through phone, video or virtual chat. Other services include scheduled counseling, health coaching, psychiatry, self-care content and basic needs support.

Certain organizations such as Wellness 360 may offer Mental Health First Aid Training and certification throughout the academic year. This eight-hour session provides participants with knowledge of the signs and symptoms of someone struggling with a mental health challenge, how to help someone facing a mental crisis, and additional information on trauma, common mental illnesses and substance use. Virtual or in-person training sessions can be found on the National Council for Mental Wellbeing website.

If the burden interferes greatly with academic progress, Medical and/or Mental Withdrawal is an option. This option applies to the student or whether the immediate family or dependent of a student becomes overwhelming. If a single class or the last class of a given semester is being dropped, it is considered a full withdrawal. There is no guarantee that the request will be granted, and should be considered as the last option after others are exhausted. Other options include requesting an Incomplete grade, using a regular withdrawal if the option is still available at that point of the semester or dropping a particular class. Read and consider the entire process on the UTSA Catalog.


Resources on campus may be limited beyond the academic semesters. Fortunately, several additional resources are available throughout San Antonio.

Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas offers community counseling to the uninsured, underinsured, low-income, or anyone who does not have the financial means to receive treatment. Appointments must be scheduled ahead. The first meeting is free, and a sliding fee scale is applied to follow-up sessions, although no one will be denied service if they cannot pay. For more information and a map of locations, visit the MHM website.

The San Antonio Community Resource Directory powers the Mental Healthcare Portal with over 2,000 resources. At the portal, click “Guide Me,” enter a zip code, select which services are needed, whether you have a diagnosed condition or habits of concern and a map and list of relevant programs, hotlines, clinics and resources will appear.

NAMI San Antonio offers free support groups for adults over 18  online or in person for individuals of varied backgrounds and conditions. Groups meet weekly or once a month and all sessions are confidential. The meetings are not medical therapy and do notor provide treatment. Support groups have a maximum of 15 people and advanced registration is required. Find the full list and registration links on the NAMI Connection webpage.

Call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988, or chat online at for 24/7 mental health crisis support. By contacting 988, a local crisis counselor will talk you through the crisis and recommend resources within the community. Veterans, active military and the military community have a specialized option by pressing option 1, as well as LGBT+ individuals under 25. It is voluntarily anonymous with the exception of the phone number or IP address used for contact, which will be shared with the center. Over 98% of lifeline interactions are resolved with the involvement of 911.

Bexar County Behavioral Health has a Resource Directory for mental health and other health-related resources, such as housing, specialized services, and social services. Project Healthy Minds offers more helplines.

Mental health is as crucial as physical health, and everyone deserves attention and care for it all. Check in with loved ones, and do not fear reaching out to others. The resources available are here for anyone.

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About the Contributors
Faith Kouadio
Faith Kouadio, Staff Writer

Faith (she/her) is a public health major with a minor in information systems. Despite choosing to pursue studies in these specific fields, she enjoys writing and communications and hopes to incorporate them as a key part of her career. She believes in an increasingly information-heavy world, everyone has a duty to responsibly disseminate information – contributing to the Paisano is her small way of accomplishing this.

If you ask Faith what movie she saw last night, she will have a new answer every time. Other than watching movies, she enjoys listening to and collecting music and traveling. Having grown up in the Toronto region, Texas is one stop from the many places she has called home. After her anticipated graduation in Spring 2024, she’s excited to see where life takes her next.

Jake Mireles
Jake Mireles, Opinion Editor
Jake (He/Him) is a second-year political science major at UTSA. Originally from Austin, he plans to move anywhere but Texas after graduation. If he is not climbing out from under a mountain of homework, you can usually find him listening to podcasts, playing saxophone or being an avid napper. This is his third-semester writing for the Paisano and his second semester serving as the Opinion Editor. He is excited for many to come while he explores a possible career path in journalism.

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