find your best self

Learn More About Mental Health

Feeling stressed out, sad, or overwhelmed? Are you curious as to what you're feeling is normal, or whether it's getting to be out of hand? Are you concerned about a friend's safety? Or just interested in learning more about mental health in general? Check out the resources below - you'll be glad you did.

Determine your Mental Health Risk Level

The PHQ-9 is the 9-item version of the Patient Health Questionnaire, and is well-validated and widely used by clinicians to measure a user's risk level for depression. Your results to this questionnaire will remain anonymous.

Take the Survey

Reach Out to a Professional at CAPS

Are you in need of immediate assistance? Or just want to talk about what might be going on? Do you have a friend who needs help? Click the link below to get in touch with CAPS and speak directly with an experienced professional.

Contact CAPS now

Reach Out to a Peer Counselor

The RAP-Line (Reach A Peer Hotline) is a group of student counselors trained to help students struggling with mental health issues.

Coming soon: Text anonymously with RAP Line!

Contact the RAP-Line

Information and

Learn more about anxiety, mood disorders, psychosis, personality disorders, and tips for coping with mental illness. Also check out a centralized list of resources and recommendations for helping a friend struggling with mental illness.

Information Resources

Key Recommendations from the Mental Health Task Force
at the University of Pennsylvania

1. Increase communication about mental health
2. Make resources more accessible
3. Educate the Penn community about mental health
4. Optimize the resources devoted to CAPS

Report of the Task Force on Student Psychological Health and Welfare (February 2015)

To read the full report, click here.

What is HelpU?

HelpU is a Senior Design project created by Penn students as their capstone Engineering project. It is aimed at destigmatizing mental health and increasing awareness on campus. Prompted by recent tragedies at Penn and other universities across the country, HelpU brings mental health out of the woods and into the conversation. HelpU brings everything you need to one place - a diagnostic, a chat platform, general information, and relevant resources - to help you be at your best.

HelpU features:

    1. A widely used and validated mental health questionnaire that assesses your risk for depression
    2. A thorough list of resources available on and off campus
    3. An anonymous peer-to-peer chat application
    4. Information about common mental health issues and coping strategies
    5. Recommendations for helping a friend struggling with mental illness

About us

We’re engineering students at the University of Pennsylvania committed to bringing mental health out of the woods and into the conversation.

Natalie Eisner

Natalie is a Senior from Hollywood, FL studying Computer Engineering. She hopes that Penn students use HelpU to empower themselves and their friends.

Chelsea Williamson

Chelsea is a senior from Franklin, MA studying Systems Engineering. She believes that HelpU creates a safe space for students to learn and communicate about mental health.

Alon Krifcher

Alon is a Senior from Potomac, MD studying Systems Engineering. He is excited about the potential that HelpU has to help improve the mental health of the greater Penn community.

Daniela Rifkin

Dany is a senior and master’s student from Seattle, WA studying Systems Engineering and Psychology. She hopes HelpU will help inspire change in Penn’s mental health landscape.

Tips & Tricks

Feeling down? Check out these tips & tricks to help improve your mood.

  • Exercise daily. Don't like exercising alone? Get a Group Exercise Pass at Pottruck, or check out these free group workouts in Philly.
  • Eat healthy and regular meals.
  • Establish a regular sleep schedule, ensuring that you always get enough!
  • Challenge negative thoughts with positive ones. Not sure how? Check out this page.
  • Explore new hobbies. Try something new. Join a new student group that interests you. Check them out here.
  • Meditate and practice calming breathing techniques. Check out this page to get started.
  • Get out of the Penn bubble. Check out this guide for free events in Philly, including film screenings, theater, museums, festivals, tours, and more.
  • Seek out professional talk therapy. Contact CAPS now.
  • Let go of things that worry you.
  • Limit time with people whose company drains you.
  • Remember, you are not psychic (You don't know what others are actually thinking).
  • Spend time with people who love you. Reach out to them for support.
  • Always know that you're not alone. Talking with other students experiencing similar problems can help more than you know. Check out the Pennsive blog, or attend a group therapy session at CAPS.
  • Volunteer to help others. Check out the community service initiatives on campus.
  • Contact Us!