It is almost one year since New York Institute of Technology, like many colleges across the country, pivoted to remote learning. The “new normal” has disrupted routines and caused increased anxiety across a nation already struggling with political division and social injustice. According to the recent study “Psychological impacts from COVID-19 among university students: Risk factors across seven states in the United States,” the well-being of college students has been adversely impacted by the pandemic.
The Department of Counseling and Wellness has responded by offering innovative programming to meet students’ increasing mental health needs. While many miss the in-person campus community, telehealth has proven to be a viable alternative. Students have reported feeling comfortable with virtual counseling, citing advantages such as convenience and increased access (especially during school breaks). Some students even report feeling less stigma attending appointments as they do not have to worry about “being seen” walking to the Counseling and Wellness office.
This year, the department introduced a new tile at mynyit.edu, which allows students to quickly and easily find information regarding wellness services available to them, including accessibility services, COVID-19 resources, immunization compliance, and Aetna health insurance information.
Students are also able to easily navigate the portal to find information such as 24/7 hotline numbers for after-hours crisis management, a link for a free and confidential online mental health screening, and contact information for Counseling and Wellness.
Programming highlighted in the portal includes the Zoom ID for “Tele-talk,” a weekly virtual drop-in option for students to speak with a counselor without an appointment. A direct connection to Counseling and Wellness’s Instagram feed is also available. The department’s Instagram feed provides updated information on programming as well as tips and strategies to manage well-being during these challenging times.
In addition to the BEAR CARE Package, the Counseling and Wellness team has created a growing list of virtual resources and narrated presentations to address common mental health concerns. These resources are available 24/7 and contain several links so students can seek out more information, if needed.
Current resources available to students:
- Balancing Automatic Negative Thoughts
- Dealing with Panic Attacks
- Healthy Relationships
- Stress: What It Is and How Can We Handle It?
- Taming Self Doubt
- Zoom Fatigue: Strategies to Stay Motivated
- Exploring Communication Styles
- Eating and Body Image Concerns
- AFSP Suicide Prevention Guide for Students
- Bear Care Wellness Resources for Students
- Narrated Workshop: Cultivating Resilience – Surviving and Thriving Spring 2021
- Narrated Workshop: Healthy Relationships at a Glance
This story was contributed by Christine Alter, associate director of Counseling and Wellness.