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CU Denver diversifies mental health services on campus

The new hotline hopes to add another service for those in times of crisis.
Photo: Madison Daley · The Sentry

New mental health hotline for CU Denver Employees

CU Denver launched the Real Help Hotline in July, a free service to all CU employees, designed to provide a helping hand for use during times of stress, crisis, and financial counseling. 

  The hotline provides many services such as treatment for gambling, narcotics, and suicide. They offer one-on-one counseling via telephone from their professional staff who are prepared to assist with stressful situations that might arise. 

According to a 2017 study from the Colorado Health Access Fund, about 12 percent of Coloradans report poor mental health. However, Colorado ranks 43rd out of states ranked on the mental health index, a measure studied by Mental Health America based on a number of different factors, such as the number of adults with any mental illness, adults with any mental illness who are uninsured, and adults with suicidal ideations. 

Jeremy Osheim, the Marketing Coordinator for CU Health Plan, explained the purpose of the program, stating they “are looking for ways to provide multiple options” for mental health services. “There are not enough providers. This way allows us to give people access quicker. This is part of a self-funded health insurance plan,” he explained.

Currently, the hotline is only available to employees of CU Denver, but not to students. “Legally, it’s only allowed for people who paid into the plan,” Osheim said.   

Osheim elaborated on the importance of the hotline. “This is a tool for anyone if you’re having a breakdown, dealing with everyday stress, it varies, or it can be little things. It is good to have someone to talk to and other resources not to feel isolated.”

The Counseling Center also offers mental health services to students, who are provided with 6-12 free counseling sessions, which are included in student fees. 

Despite all of the services provided to students, some students added that other services would be useful as well. “As a veteran, I know hotlines are useful, and I know that services like these help more people that maybe aren’t as open to asking for help directly,” Zachary Pearce, freshman and criminal justice major, said. 

Matthew Sabedera, a veteran and anthropology major also added that a stress hotline would be useful, commenting, “Oh yeah that would be great, especially cause it’s a lot easier, [and] late at night when you have that stress [from] work.”   

Sabedera also added that he would like to see students provided with “more information [in] more easily accessible places.”

The CU Denver Student and Community Counseling Center provides walk-in crisis hours available directly to CU students and Weekly Wellness Workshops every Wednesday.

The center also offers a relaxation room as well as testing and assessment services, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Attention, Learning Disabilities, and Mental Disorders/Mental Health Issues that cost $350–$400.

Real Help Hotline:

Open 24/7

Free and confidential

(833) 533-2428                                              

Counseling Center Walk-in Crisis Hours:

Mon-Thurs: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Friday: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

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