Illustration of a woman sitting in a chair while a counselor appears on an over-sized computer screen.

Earning your degree can bring a variety of emotions: excitement, anxiety, fear, relief. Changes, whether they feel positive or negative, can also create added stress. That’s why it’s important to take care of our mental health as we transition from college to adulthood. Here are some steps you can take to help manage your mental health post-college:

Make a plan

If you are currently seeing a mental health provider with CAPS or in the community, let them know you’re graduating. They will be able to help you create a plan for how you’ll receive care and support in the future. This can be especially important if you are unsure about your insurance, are moving to a new place or have other concerns about how to manage your mental health down the road. 

Review your insurance coverage

Students enrolled in the CU Boulder Gold Student Health Insurance Plan are automatically covered through July 31, 2020. If you are covered under your parents’ plan, talk to them about how long you can expect to stay on their plan. Most young adults are eligible to be covered under their parents’ insurance until they turn 26 years old. Understanding your medical insurance is an important step in connecting with mental health services. 

Explore mental health services and providers

After you have reviewed your medical insurance, it’s time to explore services. Finding a mental health care provider is a unique experience for everyone. It’s important to “shop” around for a counselor to make sure they are a good fit for your needs. Research a variety of providers and try to connect with a few different providers to ask questions about their fees, what a typical session looks like, do they have virtual options and if they’re accepting new clients. Doing research ahead of time and getting answers to these types of questions will help you find a counselor you are comfortable with. 

You can get started looking for counselors by visiting Thriving Campus. This site allows you to search for mental health providers in your area and filter the results based on specialty areas, experience, gender and more. Not sure where to begin? You can use this free CAPS worksheet to plan your provider search. 

Connect with campus resources

Just because you’re graduating, doesn’t mean you’re on your own. Graduates can still access a number of campus resources, including Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) through August 17 regardless of your insurance plan. If you’re worried about how to manage all of the changes that come with life after college, CAPS is a great resource to use. They provide individual and drop-in counseling appointments virtually through telehealth, informal consultations online and virtual workshops to help you explore specific issues like anxiety. 

Ask for help

CAPS understands that navigating insurance and finding a therapist or other mental health provider can be difficult, time consuming and stressful at times. If you need support navigating the process, CAPS is here for you during your transition out of college. Call 303-492-2277 and ask to speak to a member of the mental health management team. This team specializes in helping CU Boulder students navigate mental health resources and connecting them with support services. Services are available to graduates until August 17. After this date, students will still have access to explore counseling options through Thriving Campus.  

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