As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter more and more lifestyles across the globe, many people are finding themselves stuck inside their own homes. Very often, when a person is forced to be secluded from the outside world, they will feel a sense of sadness inside.
Since more and more people are being quarantined due to an increase in COVID-19 cases around campus, students are trying to find ways to cope with the constant isolation from being in quarantine. In response to these students’ concerns, Keene State College’s Wellness Center has been trying a variety of different ways to help students get through those dark and lonely nights in quarantine.
One of the methods the Wellness Center is using to help students find the support they need is by connecting these students with other students who are specially trained in how to correctly deal with these situations. The name of this program is the Students Support Network: Students Helping Students.
Assistant Director of Emotional Health Programming & Outreach Forrest Seymour described the program as “helping students gain the skills, so they can recognize when their friends are in distress, feeling emotional distress and gain some skills around how to support them in the moment And then also how to connect them with services when that seems appropriate.” Programs like the Students Support Network can be an incredibly crucial method of helping students who are struggling with mental health issues through quarantine periods. If any student wants to learn more about becoming a part of the Students Support Network, they can email the Wellness Center for more information.
Another method that the Keene State College Wellness Center uses to help students who are struggling with mental health issues is connecting these struggling students with professionally trained counselors. A student can reach out and talk with these counselors over a specialized version of Zoom. This specialized version of Zoom is completely medical grade and is HIPAA compliant. Forrest Seymour describes these Zoom meetings with counselors as, “Through Zoom, we are able to meet with students in-person. It is sort of under very unusual circumstances, but there are occasionally times where that happens, but for everybody’s safety we do most of our emotional health work by Zoom.” Additionally, there is a 24/7 crisis services hotline where there are professionals on standby to answer any questions or concerns that a student may have during a crisis.
Since the Spring 2021 semester began, The Keene State Wellness Center has seen a large increase in demand for many of these mental health and emotional services. A main culprit for the abnormally large increase in demand for these mental health services is the delayed start of the semester. When the delayed start was announced, many students felt incredibly irritated with the whole situation and many reached out to the Wellness Center to talk to someone about their gripes with it all.
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