COVID-19’s Impact on the Mental Health of University of Lynchburg Students

Advice for promoting student mental health during the pandemic (opinion)
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Matty Cash ~ Guest Writer

     The coronavirus pandemic has been taxing on communities across the country and many college students have reported increased stress and anxiety levels.

     University of Lynchburg students are not immune to the uptick in mental health issues either. The Counseling Center is almost completely booked up and students are finding it difficult to keep up with responsibilities.

     Senior Mandy Linehan, who has struggled with mental health issues during the pandemic, said, “I find it harder to do easier tasks. I find it really hard sometimes to get out of bed and even just log onto an online class. Before I could go all day everyday…and be fine. I now really struggle to get up for a 10 a.m.”

     Linehan’s experience is not an uncommon one, and many students across the country are worried about the effect that COVID-19 has had on their academic performance.

     Luckily, there are some resources on campus that are helping students through the pandemic. Senior Hannah Pine, however, insists there is more the university could be doing to help its students. 

     “I definitely think they should have been reaching out more, sending emails saying, ‘It is okay to feel this way.’ I think they definitely need to have done more specific outreach to say, ‘Hey, you feel this way – here are a couple of things you can do to help yourself and please know that it is normal.’ – instead of getting one email a month that is like ‘Hey, remember we have a Counseling Center if you need it,” said Pine.

     Although things have been difficult for students during COVID, Linehan has advice for students that may be struggling to manage school, the pandemic, and their mental health. “It is okay to be selfish. It is okay to place yourself and your mental health above other things. School is always going to be there, but it can pause. If you are really struggling through this, know that you are not alone and that it is okay to take a break.”

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