Putting Mental Health on the Map at Harvard

Mental Health
Sarah M. J. Welch

They're outside the Science Center with their signs, their cheer, and their smiles. They've been introducing themselves over House lists, and they want you to ask questions. They're here for you. They're the Student Mental Heath Liaisons.

Harvard's SMHL crewthey pronounce it smilehave recently launched a new website and recruited more members in their effort to foster an informed and understanding environment on campus.

In an email, the SMHL team articulated several misconceptions about mental health at Harvard that they are currently striving to clear up.

The liaisons noted that students receive therapy far more often than medication when they visit Mental Health Services, and that only a small number who come to Urgent Care for psychiatric help are sent to hospitals.

In fact, most students who visit Mental Health Services come for short-term help—typically less than six visits, according to SMHL.

The email emphasized that nobody should feel that the resources available at Harvard—including the Bureau of Study Counsel, Room 13, and Contact—are not for them. Mental Health Services, SMHL said, are not meant for "students who are really 'crazy.'" Everyone is entitled to a little help smiling.

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