Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Tuesday, March 28, 2023 — Houston, TX

Allen Liao

NEWS 2/17/11 6:00pm

Culture of care extends to aiding peers with mental health issues

I'm clinically depressed. I take antidepressants, and I see a therapist in the Counseling Center regularly. If you were to run into me today - perhaps chatting in the servery, waiting in line at Coffeehouse, lounging in Fondren or laughing with friends on the way to class - you would never be able to tell. If you know me personally, you probably had no idea. And why would I ever tell you? If you knew, you'd probably see me differently - you might judge me, look down on me, pity me or maybe even avoid me. So why am I telling you now? Because it's time to break the silence.Oh yes, we all know that Rice is one of the "happiest" colleges in the country. And it certainly seems that way: when we talk to our friends, we talk about classes, parties, campus events, weekend plans - we work hard, we play hard, we have fun, we're happy, productive, successful. But the sobering truth is that under the surface, too many of us are struggling to stay afloat. Too many of us are affected by mental health problems, too many of us are suffering in silence and too few of us are talking about it. It doesn't help that there is an enormous stigma surrounding mental illness. We can't talk to our friends about these issues - we don't want to be seen as crazy, weak, irrational, incapable, or otherwise abnormal. They wouldn't understand.