Although this year we have been mainly featuring our CAPS Student Heroes, we think it is just as important for students to get to know our incredible team of CAPS staff members. This month, we are featuring Christine Merriman, MSW, LCSW, our psychiatry case manager here at CAPS. She has been working at UCSC for the past 6 months and we are happy to have her here!
What is your position at CAPS, and how long have you been working at UCSC?
I am the psychiatry case manager at CAPS, housed at the central office, and I’ve been working at UCSC for 6 months. Chances are if you are going to see a psychiatrist on campus, or get referrals to one off campus, you’ll see or speak to me at some point!
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is meeting with students and getting to hear what they are passionate about, what they’re learning and their hopes and dreams for the future.
Tell our readers about one of your favorite spots on campus or in Santa Cruz.
I don’t know too much of the campus yet, but so far one of my favorite spots is OPERS. Besides the amazing view, being near the track reminds me of my college racing days, and when we came to run a cross country meet at UCSC. It was by far my favorite race course of all the ones we ran.
What do you do to take care of yourself and relax?
Self-care is so important! I get outside in the sunshine or the wind, take walks and hikes, read, do yoga, meditate, sing, talk with close friends, cook, play with my son, cuddle with my cat, and I’m starting to train for a sprint triathlon. My first ever.
What is one thing you wish you knew as a college student?
I wish I’d known to not take it all so seriously, and to have fewer “shoulds” around my behavior. It’s so wonderful what can be discovered when one drops the judgments of self and other, and observes with open, genuine curiosity. I think I missed out on some golden opportunities being bound up worrying about having to “be” a certain way. I’ll add as a caveat – knowing to listen more deeply to myself and my true longings, and almost more importantly, to when my boundaries were being tested. I’d say to my younger self, “Develop a strong, confident NO!”