DVC launches club to help student mental health

Tyler Elmore, Co-editor-in-chief

This upcoming fall semester will be monumental for Diablo Valley College because they will finally have a mental health outlet on campus for students.

With the help of Disabled Students Services (DSS), the Disability Support Club (DSC) will offer on-campus counseling for students suffering from mental illnesses including Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and depression, among others.

DSC President Xihao Wang, 21, who also goes by Eric, said it was his own personal experiences that lead him to start the club.

“For a long time I felt that I had become a little weird,” he said. “I noticed when I would go out with my friends I had to check the lock several times. So I asked myself, ‘do I have mental issues?’ and I did a search online and I found that it seems to be OCD.”

While the DVC Counseling Center does state on their website that there are opportunities available “to discuss with a counselor personal issues that are having an effect on your studies at DVC,” the current counselors mainly give academic guidance, rather than mental health aid.

The DSC will offer peer counseling which will allow students to talk to other students who are suffering from similar issues.

“I think the major difference between us and other clubs is that we are cooperating with a department within the school,” said DSC Vice President Tsz Yu, 19, who also go by Stephen. “Other clubs are usually just one adviser.”

DSC has also partnered with the Contra Costa County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness to help train the peer counselors.

A majority of DSC club members are international students, and they want to help other international student who may feel too afraid to reach out for help. They want to provide a safe place for students to know there are others like them.

Shuai Shao, 17, who also goes by Shelly, found it interesting that there is such a lack of places to go for mental health help.

She is confident the club will be a really great thing for campus.

“I think it’s a chance to help people realize (the lack of support),” Shao said. “And try to help those people and give a chance to people who want to help.”

General meeting dates and other information will be released at the beginning of the fall semester.

Additional information about mental health and who you can talk to over summer is available on the National Alliance on Mental Illness website.

If you need help immediately, you can call the Contra Costa Crisis Center Hotline at 1-800-833-2900.