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Teaching Resource Center

COVID and mental health

There are ongoing critical questions about the impact of COVID-19 on collegiate mental health. While more longitudinal data will be needed to better answer these complicated and nuanced questions, the findings in this blog shed new light on this topic using recent data from students seeking counseling services nationally in the Fall 2021. Although numerous areas of distress increased at least somewhat in Fall 2021 compared to pre-COVID levels, the rise in Academic Distress, Social Anxiety, Family Distress, Eating Concerns, and lifetime experiences of trauma and sexual assaults were particularly notable. These findings highlight the importance for colleges and universities to be proactive in supporting the mental health needs of students as they cope with these elevated levels of distress and adapt to life during these challenging times.

Student disconnect is at a high:

Resources

  • Abelson, S. (2019, October 29). 4 ways faculty can be allies for college student mental health. [Blog post] Retrieved from https://community.acue.org/blog/4-ways-faculty-can-be-allies-for-college-student-mental-health/
  • Arnsten, A. F. (2009). Stress signaling pathways that impair prefrontal cortex structure and function. Nature reviews neuroscience, 10(6), 410.
  • Burt, D. B., Zembar, M. J., & Niederehe, G. (1995). Depression and memory impairment: a meta-analysis of the association, its pattern, and specificity. Psychological bulletin, 117(2), 285.
  • Center for Collegiate Mental Health (2018). 2018 Annual Report. Retrieved from https://sites.psu.edu/ccmh/files/2019/09/2018-Annual-Report-9.27.19-FINAL.pdf
  • Eisenberg, D., Ketchen Lipson, S., Ceglarek, P., Philips, M., Zhou, S., Morigney, J., Talaski, A., Steverson, S., Fogel, S., & Inscore, A. The Healthy Minds Study: 2018-2019 Data Report. Retrieved from https://healthymindsnetwork.org/home/whats-new/
  • Kertzman, S., Reznik, I., Hornik-Lurie, T., Weizman, A., Kotler, M., & Amital, D. (2010). Stroop performance in major depression: Selective attention impairment or psychomotor slowness? Journal of affective disorders, 122(1-2), 167-173.
  • Marquart, M. & Báez, J. (2021). Recommitting to Trauma-informed Teaching Principles to Support Student Learning: An Example of a Transformation in Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Journal of Transformative Learning, 8(1), 63-74.
  • Rodrigues, C. L., de Almeida Rocca, C. C., Serafim, A., dos Santos, B., & Asbahr, F. R. (2019). Impairment in planning tasks of children and adolescents with anxiety disorders. Psychiatry research, 274, 243-246.
  • Ryerson University (n.d.). ThriveRU. https://www.ryerson.ca/thriveru/.
  • Schwabe, L., & Wolf, O. T. (2010). Learning under stress impairs memory formation. Neurobiology of learning and memory, 93(2), 183-188.
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison University Health Services. Health-Promoting Strategies & Resources. https://www.uhs.wisc.edu/healthy-academics/strategies/
  • Trauma Informed Pedagogy from Barnard College at Columbia University