Since March 2020, the world has been turned upside down as public schools, restaurants and other nonessential businesses were forced to close for months on end due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including our own Community College of Philadelphia. There are plenty of resources available to students, to help get them out of their quarantine funk.
According to Activeminds.org, a survey taken in April 2020 by college students shows that 20% of college students say their mental health has become worse during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey also states 48% of college students have experienced some sort of financial setback during the pandemic. Additionally, as many students have learned, 74% of students are having difficulty forming and keeping a routine ever since quarantine has become a new normal. Eight of every ten students are having trouble focusing on schoolwork while being at home taking classes, and55% of all students don’t know where to go for mental health treatment.
The National Institute of Mental Health advises to take a self-evaluation to check for mild or severe symptoms due to the stress of the pandemic and to seek professional help if experiencing severe symptoms for two weeks or more. For coping mechanisms, the NIMH recommends to “take breaks from the news, take good care of your body both physically and mentally, give yourself time to relax, connect with family and friends and continue to set goals for yourself.”
Transitioning to online learning and dealing with the pandemic has made many students begin to have mental health issues. Students are having a hard time transitioning to online learning because they don’t like not being able to interact with fellow classmates and professors in person. At the start of the semester, many were skeptical about how the semester would go. Many say it hasn’t been easy but are getting used to this “new normal.” Despite their struggles of coping with the pandemic, they have been trying to make the most of it and take care of themselves. Many keep in touch with their classmates, friends and family. Some also practice self care both mentally and physically. These students have a positive mindset that we will get through this together as a college community.
If you are having a little bit of a hard time coping with the pandemic like these students, you are not alone and there are plenty of resources you can refer to, including right here in our college community. The pride portal has many different activities that all students can be involved in, including The Division of Student Development’s “Funtastic Fall” program series, consisting of many fun and engaging activities to help students get involved out of class. The Counseling Department is also hosting many events that will help students decompress and get those positive vibes flowing their way. All of these events and more can be found on the Pride Portal.
These times we are facing are tough, but it is important for students to remember they are not alone and are still a college community and a family. For students struggling to find accessible mental health care, some additional resources include the Philadelphia Crisis Hotline at 267-687-4381 and the National Alliance for Mental Illness Help Line at 800-950-6264