Jordan here from Real Campus. I’m one of the people who runs the program and Shift Collab from behind the scenes.
And today, I want to get frank with you and talk about something important: Some of you have been booking therapy sessions with us and haven’t been showing up to your appointments!
Now, before I go much further, I want to make it clear that it’s not all people, at all! In fact, the vast majority of you are using and loving the services we provide, which is awesome. But there is a small minority out there that are not showing up for their appointments… sometimes repeatedly.
Also, don’t take my using of “you” in the post title or below as directed at YOU. I’m sure you’re great.
Transparency is important to us. So let me explain why this is frustrating for us, and why no one wins when this happens.
Real Campus is paid for by your student fees. That’s right, your fees. Those student fees are split up a bunch of different ways, and our group gets a small amount to provide ongoing therapy and other support services to you — if you choose to use ’em.
I find in my own life that sometimes when I don’t pay for something directly, I get a little lazy with showing up. And I think a bit of that logic applies here.
It’s kind of if I gave you a gym membership that was fully paid for, versus you paying $100 a month for the same membership. If the membership was paid for, you might slack off and miss the occasional training session without breaking a sweat (pun intended). But, if you were paying the money every month, you’d likely go to the gym more often.
Therapy sessions are no different. If you were paying for each session directly, I bet you’d be much more likely to attend.
Having said that, we also understand that things come up! Life happens. We all get sick, we make mistakes, we get stuck in traffic, we forget appointments. It happens. And that’s totally cool.
But at a scale of operation like ours (Real Campus is a BIG program with nearly 200,000 students enrolled), even a small increase in no-shows leaves a big mark.
To demonstrate my point, here’s what happens when someone doesn’t show up for their session:
- When you don’t show up, the session still costs money because the therapist and the room still have to be paid for.
- When you don’t show up, the therapist is still there and is waiting for you.
- When you don’t show up, someone else that wanted to see that therapist can’t see them.
- When you don’t show up, we lose one session of the amount of sessions we’ve budgeted for for the whole year.
- And I can assure you, each session is valuable to the client. Sometimes one session can change a life.
So if you have an appointment booked and need to cancel or reschedule, we ask for 24 hours notice. You can do that by calling us (1-877-390-7325) or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also cancel and rebook it following the links in the email confirmations you receive. We’re super friendly about it. Just give us notice, that’s all!
If you have a friend that has an appointment scheduled, take an active role to remind them to show up! We know therapy can be scary for many, that’s why it’s important that you support your friends with showing up. You can also ask your friends to hold you accountable if it’s you that has an appointment coming up. Buddy system for the win.
With your help, we can support more people and fight for student mental health. One session at a time.
Here’s to making a bigger impact together!
PS. Got any feedback on Real Campus or the above? Email me directly!
Last week, we posed a question on social media and in our weekly newsletter.
The question was simple: What’s the most powerful thing you’ve learned about improving your mental health?
Your responses were fascinating and served as a reminder that sometimes the most powerful things are also the simplest.
Here are some that stood out to us. (Note that some were edited for grammar or clarity.)
- Start every day with something that makes me laugh!
- Slow progress is still progress.
- Everything is temporary. Both happiness and, more importantly, pain.
- If I keep replaying things over and over, I need to talk it out with someone.
- So far you’ve survived 100% of your worst days. You’re doing great!
- Say it out loud. Sometimes just putting it out into the world helps you find a jumping off point to tackle the overwhelming.
- Set hard boundaries.
- In order to help others around me, I had to look after myself first. And in starting to do self-care to improve my mental health, I am beginning to learn more about myself which helps.
- Surrounding myself in reminders of the good things in my life.
- Exercise really does make you happy!
- There’s too many to name just one, but finding ways to put yourself first.
- I come first. If I am not going to take care of myself, no one will. Also, how am I suppose to support others if I am not ok?
- Realizing it’s not about being the person you used to be, but instead becoming the person you want to be.
- When in doubt, talk to someone.
- All the power is inside of you.
- You aren’t your thoughts. You are enough regardless of what your thoughts about yourself may be.
- Just because you have a thought, doesn’t make it true. So, why not just choose another?
- I always try to remember that the things that frustrate me are really trying to teach me something.
- That I’m not actually as stuck as I feel sometimes.
- Learning about how Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) impacts the developing brain and body; and how “trauma informed care” can help. Knowing this science gave me more empathy for myself, and to see past the shame and seek medical help, including mindfulness training and psychotherapy.
- I am not alone and when I share my thoughts with others it reinforces this!
- Doing things that I want to do, not things that people around me want me to do.
- Journalling allows you to transfer the weight of your thoughts onto paper and alleviate the stress.
And last, but certainly not least, this: “Improvement is a marathon, not a sprint.”
Thank you to everyone who shared! For those of you that haven’t yet, we’d love to hear your response. Click here to share and we’ll curate the responses to update this post periodically.
At the beginning of every school year, it’s important that we try hard to increase openness among our friends or peers. Plus, if we’re an orientation leader, it’s important that we work hard to get people wide open!
Today I am going to share three simple, cheap activities that you can to do get your students to open up, be vulnerable, and connect deeply as part of your orientation.
12 Second Gazes
Remember musical chairs? This is kind of like that only with staring. In groups (maximum 100ish), have them walk around in a confined space for 30 seconds. During this, have them keep their heads up and try to lock eyes with others as they pass by. Now, at the end of 30 seconds, ask the students to stop and lock eyes with whoever they are closest to silently. Then, and here’s the trippy part, have them keep their gaze locked on that person for 12 seconds. They can blink, but should not make any noise. At the end of 12 seconds, repeat the same process over again with having the students walk around for 30 seconds and then lock eyes with someone else for another 12 seconds. Complete 3-5 rounds of this. For the final gaze, elongate the gaze to 30 seconds. You’ll be amazed at the impact this will have on fostering intimacy.
Fear vs. Hope
Purchase a bunch of white fabric and some fabric akin to your school color. Get enough so that you buy about half white and half colored fabric. But make sure you can write on it with a sharpie (so no fleece or velvet). Cut the fabric into strips that are about 8 inches long and 2 inches wide. Punch or cut a hole in one end of them. Now, distribute one white and one colored piece to each student. Ask your students to write their biggest fear about college on one in less than 10 words. On the other ask your students to write their biggest hope about college in less than 10 words. Collect them and using ribbon hang them on two trees on your campus side by side. Leave it as an exhibit that students can visit throughout orientation and perhaps contribute to on an ongoing basis.
High 5 Run
Not everything needs to be so serious! Schedule a High 5 Run with your students. This means going for a jog around campus and giving EVERYONE high 5s that they run by. It spreads positivity, obviously, and
encourages students to break out of their shells around each other. Bonus points for wearing a ridiculous costume or using large novelty foam hands.
That’s it, that’s all! Give it a shot next time you have to break a group wide open.
The obvious thing to do would be to make this a sales blog. I am not going to do that. Because
the truth is that you don’t need us or our programs to get your students to open up. You just
need some hacks.
Jordan is a mental wellness and leadership expert, and spends his time either building Shift Collab or speaking across North America.