Some Students’ Mental Health in Flux

By Catherine Daleo

Coronavirus, known as COVID-19, can have impacts on mental and emotional health especially in times of great change and pressure.

On March 17 Governor Steve Sisolak enforced a shutdown of all non-essential businesses in the state. Two days before he closed most schools.

College of Southern Nevada followed guidance moving all instruction online until June 30, as of April’s latest briefing from College of Southern Nevada’s President Federico Zaragoza.

With this change, students were suddenly put under pressure: self-isolated at home, balancing classwork online all while processing this pandemic while some still work as essential employees. It can take a toll on mental health.

However not all students are reporting negative impacts with their mental health.

Michelle Cambridge, mental-health clinician with Counseling and Psychological Services at CSN, has not seen an increase of students reporting they’ve felt depressed or anxious since the shutdown.

Instead, Cambridge reported approximately 75% of the students she worked with have successfully managed their mental health through the crisis. For those who are having difficulties, she recommends reaching out to CAPS. It is offering counseling sessions at no cost to enrolled students via phone during the pandemic.

For those who are experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety, Cambridge shared some ways to help manage those feelings. She suggested, “Students get some self-care such as quiet time alone, medications, yoga, warm baths, deep-breathing exercise and maybe finding some type of hobby they enjoy and helps them relax.”

Hannah Dunbar, an art major at CSN, reported prior to the pandemic her mental health was much better. “I was socializing and making friends at school. I was working, so I felt pretty productive. Now that everything is shut down, I feel like my whole structure has fallen apart so I’m working on creating a new structure for myself.”

At first when classes went online Dunbar was feeling overwhelmed but now she is getting used to it. She is focusing on school as well as playing games, reading and watching television. She said, “I’ll just avoid the news so I don’t get stressed.”

When asked about the pandemic, Ronald Quinn, communications major, stated, “It feels like a time of great uncertainty. I feel anxious at times because you don’t know what you’re going to wake up to as things get worse day by day.” He added he’s trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel. In the meantime, he is doing a lot of drawing, watching movies and playing with his pets. “Facetime is a godsend as it allows me to keep in touch with my friends. Being able to stay connected has helped me feel better.”

CSN journalism major Miguel Navarro works at a store and is considered an essential employee. “Working at Target interacting with hundreds of people a day is scary.”

“I’m a shipping captain, so I’m in charge of orders,” Navarro added. “As a result, the number of online orders has gone up significantly. Today there were 400 items that needed to be fulfilled within 3 hours: over 2,000 orders today online. It’s like another Christmas.”

I was getting excessive anxiety today at work seeing so many people at the stores, especially whole families,” Navarro added. To manage this, he tries not to think about work when he gets home to avoid stressing himself out. Instead he listens to music, reads a book, plays games or writes.

For more information on CSN’s Coronavirus response click this link and for information on CAPS click this link


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