A sign that states social distance being looked at by college student in need of online counseling with Empower Counseling

Online and in-person counseling for college students needed now more than ever, says Empower Counseling. Scholars have declared a mental health crises among college students

1. College students have lost focus.

Most college students were quickly moved to online at the beginning of the pandemic. Neither colleges, nor students were prepared to do so. 

Students report online they are less able to focus and engage when learning online. This has negatively affected their overall learning experience since the pandemic began. 

In fact 71% percent surveyed report struggling to focus.

2. College students have lost academic performance. 

When focus decreases, so does ability to perform academically. When students begin receiving lower grades than they are used to, this affects self-esteem and self confidence. When self-esteem and self-confidence in their academic abilities decreases, anxiety about the future increases. 

3. College students have lost a sense of connection. Online and in-person counseling for college students with empower counseling can help.

It is not just focus and academic performance that has decreased since the beginning of the pandemic.

Students have had no opportunity to connect and create bonds with fellow students and their institutions. The college experience is so much more than what takes place in the classroom, mostly built on relationships and connectedness to others. 

Everyone, especially college students, needs a sense of belonging, and the students, especially freshman, are just not getting it. Typically, college students’ connection to campus life helps them have healthy and successful college experiences.

This has not been a typical year.

Think about what it would be like for a minute to leave your comfortable home behind to go live in a brand new place, a brand new place full of new people. You have moved from a house or apartment into just one room. You probably have a roommate you have never met. On top of all of this change, you have gone off to this new place during a pandemic. The normal independence and ability to explore has been taken away from you. You may not gather in groups, in your dorm, with your sorority or fraternity, or with anyone else. You may not go to large, loud, and exciting sporting events. There are no live concerts or parties. Oh yeah, and you must sit in front of your computer and try to listen and pay attention to a professor teaching on a screen. 

Internships, study abroad, class trips, and service learning have all been cancelled. 

Studies consistently show that a weak sense of belonging is associated with poor mental and physical health, even suicide. 

Studies also show that a strong sense of belonging is a protective factor which predicts thriving and positive mental health. 

4. College students have lost ground with their mental health. Online and In-person counseling for college students is needed now more than ever.

Before Covid-19, 36% of college students reported lifetime mental health diagnoses. Covid-19 has only exacerbated the known mental health risk factors of college students.

71% say they experienced increased stress and anxiety due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Combine the mental health impact with the impact on academic success and students are worried about their future. 

Lack of connection and belonging, combined with isolation is a recipe for declining mental health and increased suicide.

Even before Covid-19, suicide was the second leading cause of death for this age-group.

The mental health resources at the colleges and universities can not keep up with demand. 

If your college student is struggling, and many are, reach out to Empower Counseling for help.

Empower Counseling offers anxiety treatment and depression counseling for college students, teens, young adults and professionals in our Birmingham area counseling clinic. Kathryn is advanced trained in Acceptance Commitment Therapy. Empower is convenient to Homewood, Mountain Brook, Vestavia, Hoover, and Birmingham.

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