The details

  • Date: 25 January 2021
  • Speaker: Dr. June Gruber
  • Title: Promoting Student Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Host: CU Boulder Center for Teaching and Learning

The notes

  • College is a time of resilience. Students are developing identity and agency as well as maturing in cognition and self control.
  • However, students are very vulnerable to depression, reckless behavior, and above-average suicidal thoughts
  • Since COVID-19, depression has increased and mental health challenges have impaired academics.
  • However, substance abuse seems to be decreasing, so effects of the pandemic are varied.
  • What we can do to address college mental health
    • De-stigmatize student mental illness: acknowledge that stress and mental illness are normal. We can change our language to not make fun of those with mental health difficulties. Make it easy for students to ask for resources and support.
    • Empower students with science: our ideas of what will make us happy and what actually makes us happy often do not match. We can provide students with resources that can be used by anyone. This can be in the form of a syllabus statement and posting local resources on Canvas.
    • Take a citizen science approach: if we want to support our students, we need to engage with discussion on their experience. There are many research opportunities available on campus that also provide financial compensation.
    • Cultivate empathy: this situation is not normal for anyone, so we need to grant ourselves and our students kindness as we move through this situation.