RCL Post 2

In the article, “New CAPS resources focus on student empowerment,” Penn State news reveals that CAPS has created new resources to help students feel comfortable with who they are.  CAPS has created text and call lines and assessments for students online to be treated in a faster way.  WellTreck is a wellness assessment that students take to help them understand what activities make them feel better or worse.  From this new addition, students can realize the patterns in their life that bring joy as well as stress.  Students use WellTreck by themselves or with other counseling.  In addition, CAPS provides two crisis lines that are available any day and time.  Students are able to speak to someone in the middle of a panic attack or if they are thinking of hurting themselves.  Life Hacks is another addition that CAPS has initiated.  Life Hacks sessions include group discussion to help students deal with stress and anxiety.  These are beneficial because students can understand that they are not the only ones who feel isolated or alone.

Another article that discusses mental health at Penn State, “CAPS Chat program puts counselors where the students are, also emphasizes the importance of mental health and stresses the various resources provided by CAPS.  A new program was created in 2016 to place counselors in South Halls where they offer CAPS Chat.  CAPS Chat is a safe way to talk with counselors informally and feel supported by the Penn State community.  These meetings can discuss topics such as adjusting to college, family problems, stress, anxiety, or academic pressures.

These articles will be beneficial in the deliberation discussion because they discuss the services that CAPS provides.  These articles are very informative and allow their readers to recognize the importance of mental health on college campuses.  These articles would be beneficial for first year students at Penn State because they discuss the benefits that CAPS offers its students.  By knowing about the advantages of CAPS, students will learn that seeking help from CAPS could be very effective.

Works Cited

“CAPS Chat program puts counselors where the students are.” (n.d.). Retrieved February 14, 2018, http://news.psu.edu/story/423568/2016/08/31/campus-life/caps-chat-program-puts-counselors-where-students-are

Curley, C. (n.d.). “New CAPS resources focus on student empowerment.” Retrieved February 14, 2018, http://news.psu.edu/story/495703/2017/11/27/campus-life/new-caps-resources-focus-student-empowerment

RCL Post 1

My group’s deliberation title is “State of Mind.”  For our deliberation, we are focusing on the issue of failing to address mental health issues on campus.  Increasing mental health awareness and improving treatment for individuals with mental health disorders is important for college campuses.  These issues are triggered and worsened by the stress and anxiety that college adds to our lives.  Since mental health issues affect so many college students, our group created suggestions to improve treatment for individuals for our deliberation.  Our ideas include improving CAPS, creating an accepting and understanding environment, and promoting general education about mental health disorders.

My role is to research approach one, which is the ways to improve CAPS.  Pritika and I contacted a counselor from CAPS, and we want to interview him or her in the future to gather more information about the services that CAPS provides Penn State students.  We will be asking the person we interview about the mission of CAPS, the free visits offered to students, the number of students that utilize CAPS’ services every year, the services used by most students, whether CAPS will transfer students to outside sources, and the reasons behind students from failing to seek help from CAPS.

Pritika and I are currently examining CAPS’ website to learn more about its benefits.  We learned that CAPS provides individual, group, and couples counseling to its patients.  We also learned that CAPS provides help with depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.  CAPS has physicians, dietitians, and mental health providers that work together to help patients with eating disorders or body image issues.  Our goal is to implement changes that will enable students to know more about CAPS.  For example, during New Student Orientation or freshman seminar, all students should actually visit CAPS to hear a counselor speak about the help that this resource provides.  Many students do not know the location of CAPS or about the free visits that CAPS initially offers.  We believe that if students actually went to CAPS and spoke to a counselor, then they would be more likely to utilize its resources.

Kevin’s Legacy


On the day of my AP biology final exam my senior  year of high school, I could barely contain my anxiety.  I felt butterflies twisting and turning in my stomach as I walked into the front doors of my school.  As I walked down the hallway, I noticed pictures of girls with bright and glistening smiles at their graduation.  I thought to myself, “If they can do it, so can I.”  However, as I walked into the classroom to complete my final exam, my confidence dwindled.  I sat in the very front row because looking at people taking their test in front of me is very distracting.  While we were waiting for everyone to arrive, I sat quietly at my desk with my mind racing.  My anxiety took over and prevented me from focusing on doing my best.  Instead of motivating myself and reassuring myself that I studied hard enough, I kept thinking if only I had an extra day to study, if only I took regular biology, if only I did not care about this class.  Once I started fabricating “what if” scenarios, I knew I needed to take a deep breath.  

When my hands stopped shaking, I took both sleeves of the sweatshirt I was wearing and wrapped them around my fingers.  I started to calm down because I remembered what sweatshirt I was wearing.  The words, CHA football, glistened on this sweatshirt, while the sun beamed off of them from the window.  Once I looked down and saw the glowing letters on my sweatshirt, a sudden sense of peace filled my body.  This sweatshirt is my source of comfort, my source of serenity, and my source of hope.  When I wear this sweatshirt, I not only think but I know that my older brother, Kevin, is always watching over me. 

My brother tragically drowned in the pool in my backyard during my brother and sister’s birthday party on June 8, 2012. That day, I not only lost my big brother, but I also lost my best friend, my hero, and my protector.  Everytime I think about this traumatic day in my life, I think about the meaning of my brother’s life.  Kevin had a brain tumor, when he was five years old.  The doctors told my dad that he would not be able to walk again let alone run.  By living with immense positivity, Kevin never let his disabilities prevent him from competing.  As a boy with no fear, he never passed up the opportunity to try out for a team.  Walking and running with a limp, never being the fastest, and never being picked first did not deter Kevin from doing what he loved.  Defeating all odds, Kevin persevered through his hardships and received an athletic scholarship to play football for Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, which is embodied through Kevin’s navy blue sweatshirt.  

Although I have struggled the past six years, I have gained strength.  I am able to use this strength to help others who have endured similar challenges.  Even though these hardships in my life have caused an immense amount of pain, they have also provided me with unique perspectives.  I stress less about the unimportant aspects of life, I know that feelings of despair and anger are temporary, and I am more sensitive to those who are vulnerable as a result of hardships.

Kevin’s legacy has become my motivation.  I dream of becoming a pediatric psychiatrist, and Kevin’s inspiring accomplishments encourage me to focus on my goal.  Becoming a doctor is a difficult career path, but the fact that my brother could transform from a boy in a wheelchair to one of the best football players on his team motivates me to view the future in an optimistic light.  I want to be a pediatric psychiatrist to care for and know inspiring children like Kevin.  My special connection and bond with children with disabilities has inspired me to assist my father in creating Kevin’s Foundation of Hope.  The Foundation’s mission is to encourage children with disabilities to accomplish the unimaginable.  

I believe in hope.  I believe that you cannot control what happens to you, but you can control how you react.  I believe that God allows individuals to experience certain difficulties that they are strong enough to endure.  Although I worry about one day forgetting Kevin’s voice, I have days where I put on his big sweatshirt and instantly feel as if he is hugging me.  I know he is protecting me and that I will never forget him.  Even though I cannot touch or see Kevin, he will always be my hero, my inspiration, and my motivation.