Pandemic Negatively Impacts Student Mental Health

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During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many students have been forced to adapt to the uncertain world of remote learning. While the change to blended classes was necessary to move onward, it has taken a toll on the mental health of some students who were accustomed to being around classmates on campus.

This semester the university decided to open its doors and welcome students back to campus while also allowing the ability to request to take a course 100% online . With limited capacity in classrooms and more events going virtual, social interaction this semester is still significantly less common than semesters in the past.

Students are required to wear masks on campus and follow social distancing procedures. Some students at SHSU are having a difficult time getting accustomed to this new way of life.

Sophomore psychology major Haylie Callahan has found herself overwhelmed since the start of the new semester, with most of her classes being online.

“Since this semester has started, I’ve had a difficult time adjusting to online classes though,” Callahan said. “Last semester I was really motivated and could handle it, but for some reason I just don’t want to do anything this semester. I’m trying to get organized so that I can stay on track.”

In recognizing the ongoing mental health issues that students are facing, the SHSU Counseling Center is promoting its telemental health services such as the Counseling Center Helpline and “Coronavirus Anxiety Workbook” found on the university’s website.

The counseling center has worked to transition every service online to be sure that students can stay connected to the resources they need.

“While the long-term effects of the current pandemic remain to be seen, we know that feeling socially disconnected can negatively impact our overall mental health,” Danielle Sirles, a licensed psychologist at the SHSU Counseling Center said.

Telemental health counseling sessions are like face-to-face sessions in that students are still able to work through their mental health concerns.

“Students are encouraged to call the counseling center during our screening clinic to have a brief phone consultation with an available clinician,” Sirles said. “During this conversation, the clinician will help the student determine which types of services will help them best address their needs and concerns.”

Despite this transition, students should seek opportunities to stay engaged and take care of their mental health. For more information on services offered, the SHSU Counseling Center can be reached at 936-294-1720.

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