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Mental Health at University of Illinois

Mental Health at University of Illinois

I started at University of Illinois in 1998 and left five years later without a degree. The last two years were two of the most painful years of my life. I was depressed and didn't know it. It wasn't until 2005 that I got diagnosed with ADHD and BiPolar, and wasn't until 2008 that I started treatment that alleviated my depression.

It's been a great honor to go back and speak about mental health at the University of Illinois several times over the last few years. CS Sail is an annual event for incoming Freshman and their parents to learn more about the Computer Science program at UIUC. Recently I gave a talk called What College Freshman (and their parents) Should Know about Mental Health.

Heather Zike is an absolute gem of an academic advisor in the CS department at UIUC. Prior to the talk I asked her for some mental health resources for students. Here's what she suggested:

Dr. Juvenal George. (juvegeor@illinois.edu) is a counselor that is embedded in Engineering Hall for students.  (At least, he will once we are back on campus but he works virtually now.)
This is the best list of resources I have found lately. It includes much more than just mental health but I have had some that have the need for these other resources too when discussing mental health.
The students started this Facebook group and have been working very hard to raise awareness.
The school is starting a training for faculty – the Faculty Mental Health Ambassador Program. The CS Mental Health Committee has designed a series of trainings for faculty to become an ambassador and better knowledge about mental health and the campus resources.  I am excited to see this kick-off soon.
One of the advisors in our office has had these events going on pre-covid but I think it has had some better attendance since covid.
Students can always check with their advisor or they are welcome to connect with me too (hlzike@illinois.edu).