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CAPS & Sustainability: Sustaining Ourselves

Not only is climate change affecting our physical environments, it is eroding our own sense of well-being. Read more about this campus resource to better sustain yourself.

Sustainability is often thought of as an issue dealing with material goods and environmental issues. Unfortunately, the mental aspect of sustainability can be overlooked. Sustainability is not only environmental, economic, and social--it is personal as well. I talked with a case manager at CAPS to better understand what the services they offer are, and how students can best take advantage of CAPS. 

CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) is part of the Cowell Center located by residence hall Casa Italiana here on campus. Although students visit Cowell for physical issues, CAPS is not discussed as much, and many students report not fully understanding it or why we need it. 

CAPS is accessible for any student at Santa Clara University (SCU), and can be utilized for individual therapy, stress, anxiety, depression, a loss, or other traumatic events in our lives. 

Jessica Johns, a case manager at CAPS, showed me some resources she said students are often not aware of. For example, case managers can “meet with students, free of charge, for assistance locating off-campus resources.” Additionally, students might not know about groups and workshops that are offered free of charge each quarter. These groups are highlighted on the Cowell Center’s Facebook page

I also asked Johns about the best ways for students to care for their mental health. She stressed the need for “a good support system - whether that be friends, family, mentor, support group, religious figure or any other person you trust.” She also pointed out that students need to know “it is okay to ask for help.” 

How is this all related to sustainability? Studies have found that exposure to extreme weather events in person or even through media reports can influence our stress and anxiety levels. Not only is climate change affecting our physical environments, it is eroding our own sense of well-being. In order to fight against climate change, we need to remember to take care of our own wellness as well.

Don’t be afraid to utilize CAPS or other on campus resources to feel better. Sustainability starts with the individual.