Salisbury University’s Counseling Center has continued to face the rippling effects of COVID-19 on mental health into the fall and is now bringing in reinforcements to assist in its efforts.
SU counselor Cassidy Zeller said anxiety and depression are the primary reasons for students visiting the center. These are two of the many challenges college students typically face.
“This age range is when a lot of mental health issues can come out for the first time,” Zeller said.
COVID-19 has also created unprecedented challenges for many. Coming back to campus feels overwhelming for some students, resulting in feelings of loneliness, isolation, increased anxiety and even grief.
To address these growing concerns, SU has partnered with TimelyMD, providing every student at the university with supplemental mental health support without any added cost.
The service offers access to licensed physicians and counselors via phone, laptop and desktop. It is available for more than 100 institutions nationwide.
Through the TimelyCare mobile app, students can choose from a diverse selection of virtual resources from licensed providers in all 50 states, without the use of insurance.
The program also provides 24-hour on-demand access to a medical provider who can treat common illnesses such as a cold, allergies, sinus infection, flu and more.
Students can choose to meet with a specific provider or pick the first one available. They can have consultations within five to 10 minutes, with the first 12 telehealth visits per year provided for free.
While TimelyMD is offered to students, the Counseling Center is still able to assist with mental health services. Zeller said students are still encouraged to schedule a consultation with the Counseling Center if needed.
“If someone really wants in-person counseling and they are having trouble finding that, or they’re having some issues within Salisbury that we would know more about than an off-campus provider, we’d do some scheduled consultations,” said Zeller.
Last spring, the Clarke Honors College Student Ambassadors founded a Mental Health Committee in response to COVID-19.
The committee formed to “help combat stress, anxiety and depression among its students,” according to The Saunterer, the Honors College’s newsletter.
While the committee itself does not offer professional help, it does promote mental health and wellbeing practices.
The committee started an ongoing program called “Honoring You,” where students and faculty members can receive a positive, handwritten card after being nominated by a fellow student or staff member.
The committee also held a sound healing event with crystal healing and singing bowls.
“It was a nice way for people to relax before finals,” said Carly Nascimbeni, president of the committee. “We plan on doing something else similar to that because it was so well-received last semester.”
“I’m actually going to work with Jordan Suber, a professor at SU who teaches yoga, and she’s going to start hosting yoga classes for us as well, so that’s in the works.”
Students can take advantage of mental health initiatives online and in person.
“I think the big thing is just trying to prioritize your mental health, whatever that means,” Zeller said. “Whether it’s making sure you talk to someone you love every day or making sure you take a walk or be outside, just knowing what that is and trying to make sure you keep prioritizing it even when you are stressed.”
Students may register for the services at timelycare. com/salisbury by entering their name and SU email address.
By SOPHIA SMITH
Featured image courtesy of TimelyMD.