Ayisat Bisiriyu, 14, wants to raise awareness and open discussion surrounding mental health issues that can affect teenagers. (Photo by Maranie R. Staab/PublicSource)

Mental illness and teens: It’s hard to tell who is joking and who is crying for help. What’s my responsibility?

Compelling personal stories
told by the people living them.Editor’s note: At PublicSource, we believe in giving a platform to voices not often heard or consulted. That's why we asked teenagers in the Pittsburgh region to tell us what matters to them and write about it. We will feature their stories as an occasional series. The nation’s conversation about mental illness and school shootings has changed the way I listen to my classmates. It’s changed the way I read and everything I watch.

How Pittsburgh-area colleges work to meet students’ mental health needs. We surveyed eight schools about the challenges.

On the campuses of eight Pittsburgh-area colleges and universities, it’s not unusual for students to wait this long, or even longer, for therapy — though some schools did report quicker scheduling. Policies regarding access and use of campus mental health services vary among the schools, affecting how students fare and if they ever use the services at all.