Mental health resources available to Columbia and Barnard students during midterms season

Most of us can agree that being in college can be a stressful experience as we face a tsunami of midterms and problem sets, not to mention the additional worries of living in a global pandemic. Midterm season is now here, and without the comfort of a 4 a.m. JJ’s breaks after an all-nighter, the mid-semester slump is hitting harder than usual.

To stay in touch with your well-being and mental health,  remember that you are never alone. Whether it be solidarity through an online forum, a support group, or a peer educator, there are support systems in place to help you out of a bad place.

Campus Initiatives

Columbia Health Counseling and Psychological Services

CPS offers counseling services Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call 212-854-2878 to schedule a virtual appointment.

Students residing outside of the United States can sign-up here with their Columbia University logins. CPS also offers a host of support groups on topics such as “Coping with Trauma,” “Finding Your True Home: A Support Group for International Students,” “Making Peace with Food,” and “Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse.” Its website also offers coping tools for self-help, including mobile app suggestions and mindfulness resources.

Feel Well, Do Well @ Barnard 

Feel Well, Do Well @ Barnard is an initiative to support Barnard students on their journeys toward achieving optimum health and wellness. Aside from offering health education services like Well-Woman and The Rosemary Furman Counseling Center, it also hosts online well-being related events.

It is hosting a Zoom webinar panel discussion on Oct. 22 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. called Health and Well-Being at Barnard and Beyond to discuss ways the Barnard community can navigate the healthcare system and form solutions to well-being questions and health concerns. Panelists include Dr. Brenda Aiken, BC ’77, P&S ’81, the director of medical services at Columbia Health, and Dr. Hoosna Haque, assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Columbia University Medical Center.

The Rosemary Furman Counseling Center

Furman offers free and confidential counseling to Barnard students. This Fall, its virtual appointments are open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. To schedule an appointment, email or call the office at 212-854-2092. Students with urgent concerns can speak with a professional between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a same-day appointment.

This semester, the Furman Center also offers virtual group counseling and weekly drop-in support spaces. Group counseling helps students build trust in safe, supportive, and confidential spaces and find solidarity.

These include:

– “Life in the Time of COVID: NYC Edition” on Fridays at 3 p.m.

– “Women of Color Support Group” on Wednesdays at 5 p.m.

– “FLI (first-generation low-income) Support Group” every other Tuesday at 5 p.m.

Head to its website to see the full list of support groups.

Well-Woman Health Promotion Program

As part of the Feel Well, Do Well @ Barnard initiative, Well-Woman does exactly what it says: help Barnard students be their best selves, through peer education and workshops. Students can interact virtually with specially trained Barnard students, called peer educators, and other Well-Woman staff in Zoom discussions during their office hours. Their workshops range from “Navigating expectations versus realities in the time of COVID-19”, to “Signs of healthy & unhealthy relationships”.

Sign up for its weekly newsletter and check out its Instagram and Facebook to keep up with its events.

Regardless of the problems you may be facing, never hesitate to get help.

Mental health tracking apps

Sometimes, putting your thoughts into words can be a great way to dispel a negative headspace. If you’ve had trouble getting into journaling, or would like a quick and easy way to jot your feelings down, try using journaling apps like Moodpath, Daylio Journal, or stoic. mental health journal to get you started.


Unmasked is an anonymous forum app for college students to discuss mental health issues in a safe and supportive online space. Your “.edu” email grants you access to its discussion boards, where you can engage with peers through posts, comments, and likes. The app is widely used among college students at Columbia along with Princeton, Tulane, Dartmouth, Yale, UCLA, Williams, Cornell, and more. Their app also offers a handy resource page listing free and confidential mental health resources. A review on the App Store captures the essence of Unmasked: “At times it feels like an invisible army is always present on the other side of the screen waiting to offer kind and supportive words.”


Crisis Text Line: Text “Brave” to 741-741 for free 24/7 crisis support via a trained crisis counselor in the United States.

Disaster Distress Helpline: Text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 or call 1-800-985-5990 for free 24/7 crisis counseling regarding natural or human-caused disasters. These include infectious disease outbreaks, community unrest, and earthquakes.

National Eating Disorders Association Helpline: Call 1-800-931-2237 for free and confidential counseling.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-TALK (8225) for free, confidential 24/7 suicidal crisis support.

Trevor Project: Call 1-866-488-7386 for free and confidential crisis intervention for LGBTQ young people or visit the for text and chat options.

Deputy Editor Jane Mok can be contacted at Follow Spectator on Twitter @ColumbiaSpec.

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