“Black Students Do the Real Work!”: Maintaining Mental Health Among Black College Students at UCLA

Princess Udeh

Abstract


Black college students deal with academic and racial stressors due to the racism they experience at Predominantly White Institutions (PWI). Mental health care resources are universally available at UCLA; however, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), the primary resource, is a mental health hub for 33,000+ students at UCLA. In this study, I explore how Black college students at UCLA view CAPS and utilize Black-run campus organizations to create their own “safe space.” Through a mixedmethods approach, I found that Black students do not utilize counseling resources because they are unwelcoming and there is a lack of culturally trained psychologists or Black psychologists available to discuss the imposter syndrome, microaggressions, and racism Black students experience. As a result, Black students take on the role of community organizers. Through the creation and maintenance of the Afrikan Student Union and other Blackrun campus organizations, Black students create safe spaces for themselves and provide race-based resources to maintain retention within their community.

Keywords


mental health; Black college students; UCLA; Counseling and Psychological Services

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15273/jue.v12i2.11412

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The JUE is a peer-reviewed online journal that publishes original ethnographic research by undergraduates working in a variety of disciplines. Submissions are welcomed. Contact the Editor, Karen McGarry.

ISSN 2369-8721