Psychiatric impairments or mental illnesses cover a myriad of disorders, and they are not discernable to the eye. Some students live with manic depression, panic, bi-polar, and anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, depression, paranoia, compulsive and obsessive behaviors. These conditions have the propensity to alter attention spans, concentration, personality, behavior, hygiene, or self-confidence. Students diagnosed with any of these disorders may experience an inability to develop or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers; inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances; heightened anxieties, fears, or suspicions; and/or difficulty concentrating and making decisions.
Individuals who self-identify as having a psychiatric disability should follow the following guidelines when requesting accommodations through Student Disability Services (SDS):
- Before or early in the semester, students should discuss with SDS staff the type of services they need in order to successfully compete in the academic setting. Early accommodations can alleviate some of the stress that stems from attending post-secondary education environments.
- You need to arrive early to secure a seat near the door to avoid distractions if you have to leave. However if you know you will have to stand and stretch due to an adverse reaction to medicine please discuss this problem with your instructor when you self-identify in his/her office.
If needed, you will need to request note taking assistance, taped class lectures, and exams in a distraction free room and/or in adapted formats and contact Student Disability Services about contacting the Health Service Office on campus if you need to store your medication during the semester. If hospitalization is needed, call 911.
Student Disability Services staff can help you transition smoothly into the university setting. Do not hesitate to seek out our services. We are here to assist you in having a positive post-secondary experience and to secure any reasonable academic supports that are needed to accomplish your goals.