Chances are, some students will face mental health challenges during their college experience.
According to a survey done by ActiveMinds in April 2020, “80% of college students report that COVID-19 has negatively impacted their mental health.”
Many students struggle with mental health on a regular basis, but the worldwide pandemic has impacted much more.
Reed Stoddard, the Counseling Center director, explains the new struggles that he thinks the virus has added to students’ mental health.
“It’s harder to meet people,” Stoddard said. “I think any time that we feel more isolated socially, then everything else doesn’t look as good. It is easier to get discouraged and get down on ourselves.”
Because of all the challenges students have with mental health, BYU-Idaho offers a variety of programs to help students who are struggling.
The Counseling Center is located inside the Student Health and Counseling Center. Students can schedule to meet one-on-one with a counselor. Group counseling and couples counseling are also available.
According to the Counseling Center webpage, “Our professional staff of licensed psychologists and social workers provide free therapy for matriculated students, registered for a minimum of six credits, who are struggling with mental health and behavioral issues as well as unmet emotional needs.”
Thrive is one of the few programs that students have to pay for. The fee is $15. In this program, students will learn ways to cope with anxiety and depression.
Thrive has been meeting every Tuesday and Thursday over Zoom, but the program hopes to offer face-to-face again during the winter semester.
Some activities the program works on are physical fitness, meditation, nutrition and more.
“We go over different coping mechanisms that can help with their anxiety or depression especially during this time,” said Melissa Russell, a human performance and recreation professor who oversees the Thrive program. “We try to teach a principle and then we do it all together.”
The wellness center, located in the John W. Hart building, offers resources for students struggling with self-care. The wellness center offers 30-minute consultations with a wellness coach.
Tiana Ferra, a senior studying exercise physiology and a wellness coach, explained that the consultations have coaches become familiar with what students are going through.
“We go over the eight pillars of wellness,” Ferra said. “As we go over the eight pillars, we are able to figure out what areas they need to improve on. We will set short-term and long-term goals. We are able to create a better lifestyle for them and help them be healthier and happier.”
The Wellness Center also offers the Fit4Life program. The program fee is $25 and lasts a full semester.
According to the Fit4Life webpage, “Participants will receive services in the Wellness Center by meeting regularly with a Wellness Coach to discuss goals, motivation, time management, and nutrition consultations. A Trainer in the Fitness Center will also help set up a program to meet your needs.”
The Counseling Center offers two self-help mental health zoom workshops: FEAR-less Emotion Management, and Anxiety and Stress Workshop.
In the FEAR-less Emotion Management workshop, students will learn more about fear and the effect on the body. They also learn ways to cope with fear. The Anxiety and Stress Workshop helps students learn ways to manage their stress and anxiety.
If you are struggling with your mental health and aren’t sure what resources are available, try out the plethora of opportunities that are right here on campus.