As the Orient reports this week, Counseling Services has seen a 40 percent increase in student visits over the past nine years. This figure does not indicate the rapid decline of our collective mental health—rather, it signifies the growing number of us who are willing to seek out and accept help when we most need it.

Roughly 27 percent of Bowdoin’s student population has utilized individual therapy, a figure that has led Counseling Services to place renewed emphasis on group options and preventative programming this year. This is, in part, a simple response to increased demand, but it also represents a conscious decision intended to prevent Counseling from ever having to turn students away. Ensuring that more intensive care remains an option for students in crisis—as well as those with complex, long-term diagnoses—is a laudable and important goal. This is not always the case at other schools where student counseling visits are capped at five or ten, regardless of the student’s level of distress. 

The College’s dedication to preventative mental health programming extends beyond Counseling. Services like those provided by the Center for Learning and Teaching—which opened its Writing Project Workshop on Tuesday—can help students learn to manage academic stress and avoid becoming overwhelmed as workloads intensify. 

For many at Bowdoin, success feels familiar. Reaching out and asking for help can feel like an admission of failure. But struggling is natural; admitting it is brave and knowing that help is available can make all the difference.

The editorial represents the majority view of the Bowdoin Orient’s editorial board, which is comprised of Claire Aasen, Erica Berry, Nora Biette-Timmons, Marisa McGarry, Eliza Novick-Smith, Sam Miller and Sam Weyrauch.