Deadlines, debt, and picking classes are all the typical worries of a college student. Add a global pandemic and the stress might be too much.
According to Penn State’s Center for Collegiate Mental Health, out of 43,098 students surveyed about their 2019-2020 school year, 94% reported COVID-19 leaving a negative impact on at least one aspect of their life. The highest impact percentages are mental health (72%), loneliness/isolation (67%), and academics (66%). With colleges reopening, academic assistance like the pass/fail option no longer provided, and COVID-19 relief drying up; perhaps the return to normalcy has come too quickly for students.
In 2021, many colleges around the country offered in-person learning after an academic year online. Although this reintegration allowed students the ability to socialize again and possibly minimize isolation felt from the last year, it also highlighted hesitancy to the so-called return to normal. COVID-19 anxiety is a pandemic-induced disorder, according to the American Psychological Association; 49% of adults surveyed felt unease about in-person interaction.
It seems that regardless of an in-person or online education, the mental stability of students is at an all-time low. So, what can colleges do to ensure that students are given support systems to get better?
Arizona colleges have answered the call in different ways. Northern Arizona University provides a link to Shine Project, a website dedicated to alleviating symptoms of COVID-19 anxiety through meditation videos, Q&As with psychologists, and resources on how to take care of oneself. Arizona State University provides online resources for students during the pandemic. These resources include information on how to apply for unemployment, and about food banks and shelters around their campuses.
Central Arizona College partnered with Corazon Behavioral Health to provide counseling services, case management, and psychiatric services. The services are provided to enrolled students for free. You can access this resource on the Student Health & Wellness Resources page on CAC’s website by either emailing the Dean of Student Life at [email protected] or filling out a short form to be directed to the proper services needed. According to the website, “CAC sponsored visits are zero cost to the student if registered and scheduled through our office. Students may choose to use their health insurance or may qualify for AHCCCS (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System).” Students can also access information for hotlines and Pinal county health clinics on the Student Health & Wellness Resources page.
Getting better doesn’t have to be done alone. If you are in need of resources or a support system, visit the websites above.
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