Recent research confirms the negative effect that the pandemic has had on mental health in college students. One study of US undergraduates published in the Journal of American College Health found that depression and stress symptoms were higher in 2020 than they were in 2017. Another study in the same journal found that college students—especially undergraduates—reported more stress, repetitive negative thinking, less positive mood, and more anxiety. Both of these studies called on institutions to help students address their mental health, and one called out the necessity of using creative approaches to meet student needs.
As a college administrator, providing counseling for your students benefits your school in many ways. Not only does it help improve your students’ mental health outcomes—which is the primary goal—but research also shows that it improves academic success and retention.
Crafting creative solutions to mental health concerns begins with understanding
Knowing the main issues underlying students’ declining mental health helps you to address it more effectively. According to one of the studies mentioned (Frazier et al.), students’ most frequently reported stressors included school-related demands and missing seeing friends.
Your institution has several options when it comes to addressing students’ primary concerns. One is to provide additional mental health workshops and counselors to facilitate one-on-one or group programs. When it comes to school-related stress, offering more tutoring and academic support can also go a long way. To help students form social bonds that they may have missed out on, your school can host/promote social events and clubs and provide opportunities for safe socializing.
How CampusWell can help your college address students’ mental health
To accompany your current offerings in mental health, academic, and social supports, you can also provide student-centered resources that inspire them to build their emotional, intellectual, and social wellness. Better yet, these resources can be available 24/7 online and via a downloadable smartphone app—so that your students have ongoing access to wellness programming whenever and wherever they need it.
A subscription to CampusWell provides your school with research-backed, relatable content that helps your students learn how to cope with their concerns. This subscriber-only content is provided via a custom website that is branded for your school. On the topic of emotional wellness, CampusWell regularly provides content on mental health, stress management, and mindfulness. When it comes to academics and intellectual wellness, your students can find science-backed articles on your school’s CampusWell site about studying, test taking, and time management. And for social wellness, CampusWell provides content to help your students improve their communication skills, as well as how to identify and strengthen healthy friendships and romantic relationships.
In addition to emotional, intellectual, and social wellness, CampusWell publishes trusted content on all eight dimensions of wellness including physical, financial, spiritual, occupational, and environmental.
Learn more about the CampusWell online platform here or request a demonstration to see how CampusWell can benefit your school.
CampusWell is a versatile platform that helps make a multi-departmental wellness initiative simple, sustainable, and engaging. Using technology, high quality, research-based content, and proven marketing strategies, together with your existing assets, we deliver a campus-wide wellness platform that will positively impact your students and institution.
Dial, L. A., DeNardo, F. A., Fevrier, B., Morgan, A. L., et al. (2021). Comparing mental health and well-being of US undergraduate and graduate students during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of American college health : J of ACH, 1–11. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/07448481.2021.1996372
Frazier, P., Liu, Y., Asplund, A., Meredith, L., et al. (2021). US college student mental health and COVID-19: Comparing pre-pandemic and pandemic timepoints. Journal of American college health : J of ACH, 1–11. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/07448481.2021.1987247
Kivlighan, D. M. III, Schreier, B. A., Gates, C., Hong, J. E., et al. (2021). The role of mental health counseling in college students’ academic success: An interrupted time series analysis. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 68(5), 562–570. https://doi.org/10.1037/cou0000534