The Atlantic

The Post-College Therapy Void

Mental-health resources are proliferating on campuses, but after graduation, students who relied on counseling face a trying transition.
Source: Joshua Roberts / Reuters

Before he arrived at Wichita State University, Steve Paniagua had never seen a therapist. He’d struggled with depression and suicidal tendencies for years, but his family could never afford treatment. As soon as he got to the Kansas school, Paniagua called the school’s counseling center. He learned that he could meet with a licensed therapist as often as he needed to, free of charge.

“For two years, I would go maybe once a week to the counseling center,” Paniagua said. “It was that extra support that I needed. If something bad happened, I always knew I could go there and be a little bit safer than I was before.”

Paniagua graduated last month. He has no job and no health insurance.

“When you have something for a really long time, you don’t know what you’re going to do when you

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