The Impact of Covid-19 on Students’ Mental Health
By: Sunshine Finnell
Mental Health issue symptoms due to COVID have become ubiquitous with the college experience survey with Chattanooga State being no exception as we return to class.
These many times drastic effects are being documented on campus by Dr. Emily Dunlap’s class study currently underway on the effects that COVID has had on students at Chattanooga State.
COVID-19 did take a lot away from people, including sickness, miscommunication and grief; however, it has drastically impacted individuals’ mental health, especially college students.
Dr. Emily Dunlap, Associate Professor of Psychology at Chattanooga State, said that a lot of students have concerns about their mental health being impacted by COVID-19.
According to a new BestColleges.com survey, “95% of college students have experienced negative mental health symptoms because of COVID-19-related circumstances.”
Students at Chattanooga State are all here for varied reasons and a lot can be extremely difficult.
The constant disconnect between the individuals on campus can make it all much more strenuous, along with the college experience.
Dr. Dunlap said that “There is a galaxy in everyone’s head that it is hard to remember and to see that…a lot of us feel like we are missing something, a piece.”
Dr. Dunlap started a group research project on the statistics of how COVID-19 has impacted college students.
This was sparked by a 2 a.m. idea and her virtual psychology students jumped on board with it right away.
Dr Dunlap said, “They’re mainly interested in just getting a sense for how Chatt State students are perceiving.”
The research project has given them a great insight on how students at Chattanooga State are feeling throughout the pandemic.
“It definitely helped the students involved in the project feel more connected to each other and those on campus. “
The data they collected helped them know more about what is going on in the community and offered students a chance to voice solutions.
We need to be able to voice with each other when things are not going well, whether it involves our personal lives or a disconnect in the classroom.
Dr. Dunlap expressed that, “If they share what’s working, and what, what isn’t working, that to me is such a sign somebody’s taking good care of themselves.”
Dr Dunlap said that communication is much of how we are going to get through this pandemic and collective tragedy.
I say we need communicate with each other to help get each other through this.
Chattanooga State offers free Counseling services with trained professionals to help current students and staff in times of need.
It is very easy to make appointments to talk to someone and to go through Confidential Online Mental Health screenings.
Depression and anxiety are real issues and to anyone out there that is struggling with their mental health just know that the best thing to do is to reach out to someone.
There are many ways to get help but, the first step is making an effort to get help.
Even if it is just a family member or friend that you trust it can be very beneficial to you and your loved ones.