The News Site of Fresno City College

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The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

Support That Keeps Me Going

How Disabled Students Programs and Services Saved My Academic Career
Photo by: Aryanna Cooper-Delgado
DSPS office at Fresno City College on Sept. 20.

As someone who has struggled with mental health since the age of 13, I have had my fair share of experiences and interactions involving the stigma of mental health. It wasn’t until I finally sought out my own help that I understood I didn’t have the best perception of what mental illnesses truly looked like.

When I was 20, I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Bipolar 2 Disorder (BPD). While the diagnosis answered many questions for me, it also created so many more.

Hearing these diagnoses for the first time was scary since I didn’t have enough of an understanding of mental health. Bipolar 2 disorder was the recognition of the differences between my experience with depression and mania.

During this time, the lockdowns from COVID-19 heavily affected my mental health. This was the start of a time when I didn’t know what I could achieve in my future.

I had to figure out how to work with these diagnoses, not against them.

During the summer of 2021, I was passing by Fresno City College’s campus and I saw a Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS) flier displaying their services.

DSPS is a program at FCC that offers assistance and resources to students to create an accessible and inclusive campus environment.

I hadn’t heard of the program before, but I looked into it as someone who needed extra help furthering my education. I was told I qualified for the program giving me so many resources and chances to have accommodations. I finally felt like I truly had a support system within my academic career.

Finding out the resources and accommodations offered to the students got me to re-enroll in classes. Since the fall of 2021, I have been a full-time student.

There are many counselors and professors who are advocates for the importance of mental and physical health. I reached out to the counselor related to my major, and from there, I could take all the steps to get into the program. All the information I need could be found on their website.

Because of these resources, I wouldn’t hold back and let the fear of failure bring me down. I now have goals outside of what I thought was possible, and reaching out for this program gave me that chance and pushed me to put my education first.

Whether it is a physical or mental disability, one is not less than the other. It affects your daily life and how you experience it. Students should take advantage of the program and explore the options DSPS gives students to help them progress their academic careers and mental health journey.

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