The Sum Up: What to do if COVID-19 has increased your anxiety, depression as a college student

The fall semester is underway at local colleges and students must adapt to extended online learning as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. A recent article in Science Daily mentioned a challenge that might loom large for some students: mental health.

While distance learning has its advantages, a study at Dartmouth College revealed that students are experiencing more depression and anxiety during the pandemic than they do during a regular school year.

The good news is that help is near. Local colleges have made resources available to students to help them navigate the emotional challenges of attending college online.

Seminole State College

Students at Seminole State College have an array of resources available to them if they find themselves struggling with anxiety or depression.

The first resource is student counseling. Seminole State has counselors available at each campus. During regular school hours, you can call (407) 708-2337 to be connected with a counselor. Outside of regular hours, they have a crisis hotline, which you can reach at (407) 416-9976. The crisis hotline is available after 6:00 pm Monday through Thursday, and 24 hours a day on weekends.

Seminole State has also posted a video on its YouTube channel giving students and faculty advice on how to care for their mental health during the pandemic. You can watch it here.

Finally, they have added links to their site that may be helpful to students during this difficult time, including articles from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the CDC.

The University of Central Florida

Students at the University of Central Florida have access to some unique resources to help them cope with the mental health challenges of remote learning and COVID-19.

Counseling services are available for individuals and groups, and include crisis counseling and couples counseling. They have counselors who speak English and Spanish, as well as some unspecified additional languages.

Another mental wellness resource for students is Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) treatment, which we like because it can help students who are studying remotely. It includes web-based therapy, instructional videos, video conferencing and free access to an extensive Mindfulness Library.

Finally, UCF students can learn about mental health and how to talk about it using Kognito, which is a role-playing online tool that provides individual feedback and guidance to users.

Valencia College

Valencia College has several mental health resources that they provide to students. The first is the CARE guide, which gives students some information about how to recognize depression and the signs of emotional distress. The page links out to many additional resources, including videos, information websites and a self-care center for COVID-19.

For students who feel they need one-on-one counseling, Valencia College has a page where you can read about advising and counseling services and schedule an appointment with a counselor. You can find it here.

Additional Mental Health Resources

If you’re not attending one of the colleges listed here, you can still get the help you need. You can start by checking your school’s website. Search for mental health resources if it’s not obvious where to find them.

Here are some additional local resources you can try:

  • The Mental Health Association of Central Florida has a program where you can connect with mental health services in your area.
  • Central Florida Cares has a list of mental health providers in Brevard, Osceola, Orange and Seminole counties.
  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has an Orlando chapter. You can find their website here. You can use it to find resources and connect with mental health professionals near you.
  • The Orange County website has a mental health page where you can learn about local resources.

You should also know that the Mental Health Association of Central Florida operates a crisis hotline. Students in Brevard, Osceola, Orange and Seminole counties can dial 2-1-1 for mental health assistance, 24 hours a day. You can find a list of other numbers by location here.

Studying remotely may be lonely and difficult for some students. If you’re feeling like you need help, the resources we’ve listed here can help you get the support you need.

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