As concerns about COVID-19 subside, student mental health needs are at an all-time high

Photo by Kristin Millie Salazar
| The state press

“If this year has taught us anything, then our mental health is as important as our physical.” The illustration was originally published on Monday November 22, 2021.

By Fernanda Galan | 11/22/2021 11:49 AM

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on our lives. Many of us still face challenges such as stress, anxiety, fear, loss, and anger. These are strong emotions that make us feel lonely and isolated. Those who have already struggled with their mental health now have worsened symptoms. When the pandemic broke out, many of us were reaching our boiling point.

If this year has taught us anything, it is that our mental health is as important as our physical. Taking care of a broken arm is just as important as taking care of ourselves and our spiritual wellbeing.

A healthy mind corresponds to a healthy body. We cannot have one without the other. Unfortunately, many students experience depression, anxiety, stress, and eating disorders, many of which are likely made worse by the pandemic and the move to and from classroom teaching.

The pandemic may have receded, but the mental health consequences will remain. According to a 2019 report by Live Well @ ASU, nearly half of ASU students have experienced significant depression in the past 12 months. ASU needs to invest more in student mental health.

“When you have better mental health, your whole body is kind of a balance of things, of course you need, you still need physical health, but then you also need your mental health and it all fits together and affects your life in different ways Ways, “said Carter Bower, vice president of Devils 4 Devils and a junior studying psychology and neuroscience.

Many ASU students feel like they are being thrown back into face-to-face classes without much time to adjust to the changes. After an unprecedented year of virtual learning, many of us forget about the interaction and are overwhelmed.

“When it came to the fall semester, at the beginning of fall, and we went back to class with full strength, I was very nervous and very scared and was President of Devils 4 Devils.

While mental health can be a heavily stigmatized topic, it has received wider coverage in recent years and the COVID-19 pandemic has only compounded the clear need for an open discussion on mental health.

An increase in the use of advisory services is not only reserved for ASU. Even in 2019 before the pandemic, almost 90% of the heads of advice centers reported an increase in the number of students looking for services, according to an annual survey by the Association for Advice Center Managers of Universities. According to the American Psychological Association, counseling services at universities across the country see waiting lists for their counseling services.

“Utilization is higher than ever before. This is in line with national trends,” said Aaron Krasnow, vice president of ASU Counseling Services and ASU Health Services.

Many students are discouraged and have tried to get an appointment with the ASU Health Service, but have been turned away several times. All four ASU campus counseling centers currently have months of waiting. This means that students struggling with their mental health may not have access to the on-campus services they need.

“It is true that at certain times of the year, due to the demand and the number of providers on campus, fewer appointments are available for counselors on campus. In addition, SMS, telephone and telemedicine appointments with ASU counseling providers are via Open Call Open Der Chat is available every day, “said Krasnov.

Today more than ever, students are overwhelmed and caring for themselves has become a second priority when it comes to managing the school workload.

For example, when my dog ​​died I was overworked and tired, but I kept going on with an endless to-do list. I felt like I didn’t have time to grieve or focus on my own mental health due to the high expectations of the degree.

ASU encourages students to read some of the tips on wellness.asu.edu that have been shown to be effective in preventing and treating mental health problems. Other resources available include the Center for Mindfulness, Compassion and Resilience, 360 Life Services, and student organizations such as Active Minds and Devils 4 Devils.

“Our dealings with our students are very support-oriented,” says Hinsberger. “You can be a friend – you don’t have to be a psychiatrist or a therapist to this person to still love them, share empathy with them, and make them feel like they’re being heard and supported.”

We spend so much time talking about our success that we seldom mention our failures, but all it takes is for someone to stand up and say, “I’m not fine” for everyone to say the same thing feel. Schools should also understand that mental health concerns not only students, but also their staff and faculties.

It is ASU’s responsibility to fill the gaps many community members have when it comes to receiving mental health support, whether through increasing the number of counseling staff, more flexible deadlines, or encouraging students to use student-centered resources.

It is important to remember that we are not alone in our struggles. Instead, we are part of a larger conversation that is sometimes tough and taboo.

Reach out to the columnist at fgalanma@asu.edu and follow @fgalanma on Twitter.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not imply endorsement by The State Press or its editors.

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