The next victim of COVID-19: The mental health of university students

COVID-19 is changing the way we live, so what does this mean for already struggling university students and their mental health? (Image source: The Guardian)

By Lauren Thomas-Nehmy | @LThomasNehmy

One month ago, Isabelle was enjoying everyday life like many other young Australians.

She was about to begin her final semester of a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science at the University of South Australia.

She worked casually as a receptionist and was completing a placement at Sturt Football Club.

She competed in various athletic events and was looking forward to travelling to Europe in June.

Overnight, Isabelle’s life became unrecognisable.

The vast and rapid onset of COVID-19 has forced cities and countries across the globe into lockdown.

Adelaide is subject to strict social distancing rules resulting in the closures of cafes, restaurants, gyms and non-essential services.

Isabelle was forced to give up her placement and her remaining study has moved online.

“I’m adapting to the online environment, I’m lucky that my courses are set out well for online work, but my main concern is when I’ll complete my placement,” she said.

“I’m hopeful, but if I can’t complete another 100 hours before October, my graduation will be delayed.

“I was already experiencing anxiety, stress and depressive symptoms before this pandemic and now my negative emotions are elevated.”

Isabelle is one of many students confronted with increased mental health concerns as a result of COVID-19.

Students are a high-risk population

One in four young Australians will experience mental health concerns and will need support now more than ever.

Professor Patrick McGorry is the executive director of youth mental health service, Orygen.

He told the ABC that the mental health needs of young people during the COVID-19 response require urgent attention.

“We’re going to see a lot of new episodes of mental health issues and mental illness appearing even in people that previously hadn’t experienced this,” he said.

“But people with existing problems are going to get worse in many cases.”

Picture1
Professor Patrick McGorry, executive director of Orygen. (Image source: Canberra Times)

Last week, the Federal Government announced the COVID-19 National Health Plan to support the mental health of Australians during the pandemic.

The $74 million dollar package includes expanded Medicare-subsidised services and will allow Australians to access support to GP services and various mental health treatments  from home via telephone or video conferencing.

“The use of telehealth services and telephone support is vital as we continue to support young people through this period,” Professor McGorry said in a press release.

Isabelle says this service will encourage students to access quality healthcare while self-isolating, especially if Medicare takes away the financial burden.

“I will be using this service with a specialist in a couple [of] weeks and am very grateful it will be free.”

What are universities doing to support students?

The big three South Australian universities are working to accommodate the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

The University of South Australia and Flinders University are both providing counselling services over the phone and  The University of Adelaide have introduced Zoom video chat appointments.

The University of Adelaide has made changes to its grading system and Flinders will not charge an amenities fee for the first semester.

Wellbeing hubs have been established online, providing a range of resources, from study snack recipes and entertaining clips to specialty health information.

In addition, UniSA has established a hardship fund, offering financial support to students most affected by the loss of employment, medical expenses and more.

Picture1
UniSA announces a COVID-19 hardship fund. (Image source: University of South Australia)

Interstate, additional measures have been implemented to encourage students to continue with their studies.

Several major universities, including the University of New South Wales and Swinburne University, will not record failed units on academic transcripts this semester.

“I’m not sure if universities in South Australia should go to the extreme of not reporting fail grades but delaying deadlines or providing extra assistance would be enough,” Isabelle said.

“It would help so many students still succeed in these uncertain times.”

If you or anyone you know needs help please contact Lifeline, Beyond Blue, Headspace or Kids Help Line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COVID-19 is changing the way we live as we know it, what does this mean for already struggling university students and their mental health? IMAGE SOURCE: The Guardian

 

By Lauren Thomas-Nehmy, @LThomasNehmy

 

 

One month ago, Isabelle Tucker was enjoying everyday life like many other young Australians.

 

She was about to begin her final semester of a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science at the University of South Australia.

 

She worked casually as a receptionist and was completing a placement at Sturt Football Club.

 

She competed in various athletic events and was looking forward to travelling to Europe in June.

 

Overnight, Isabelle’s life became unrecognisable.

 

The vast and rapid onset of COVID-19 has forced cities and countries across the globe into lockdown.

 

Adelaide is subject to strict social distancing rules resulting in closures of cafes, restaurants, gyms and non-essential services.

 

Isabelle was forced to give up her placement and her remaining study has moved online.

 

“I’m adapting to the online environment, I’m lucky that my courses are set out well for online work, but my main concern is when I’ll complete my placement,” she said.

 

“I’m hopeful, but if I can’t complete another 100 hours before October, my graduation will be delayed.

 

“I was already experiencing anxiety, stress and depressive symptoms before this pandemic and now my negative emotions are elevated.”

 

Isabelle is one of many students confronted with increased mental health concerns as a result of COVID-19.

 

 

Students are a high-risk population

 

One in four young Australians will experience mental health concerns and  will need support now more than ever.

 

Professor Patrick McGorry is the executive director of youth mental health service, Orygen. Hewarns (who is he warning, the public? families? schools?) the mental health needs of young people during the COVID-19 response require urgent attention.

 

“We’re going to see a lot of new episodes of mental health issues and mental illness appearing even in people that previously hadn’t experienced this,” he said.

 

“But people with existing problems are going to get worse in many cases.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Professor Patrick McGorry, executive director of Orygen.     IMAGE SOURCE: Canberra Times

Last week, the Federal Government announced the COVID-19 National Health Plan, to support the mental health of Australians during the pandemic.

 

The $74 million dollar packageincludes expanded Medicare-subsidised services and  will allow Australians to access support to GP services and various mental health treatments  from home via telephone or video conferencing.

 

“The use of telehealth services and telephone support is vital as we continue to support young people through this period,” Professor McGorry said.

 

Isabelle says this service will encourage students to access quality healthcare while self-isolating, especially if Medicare takes away the financial burden.

 

“I will be using this service with a specialist in a couple [of] weeks and am very grateful it will be free.”

 

 

What are universities doing to support students?

 

The big three South Australian universities are working to accommodate the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

 

The University of South Australia and Flinders University are both providing counselling services over the phone and  The University of Adelaide have introduced Zoom video chat appointments.

 

The University of Adelaide has made changes to its  grading system and Flinders will not charge an amenities fee for the first semester.

 

Wellbeing hubs have been established online, providing a range of resources, from study snack recipes and entertaining clips to specialty health information.

 

In addition, UniSA has established a hardship fund, offering financial support to students most affected by the loss of employment, medical expenses and more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UniSA announces a COVID-19 hardship fund. IMAGE SOURCE: University of South Australia

 

Interstate, additional measures have been implemented to encourage students to continue with their studies.

 

Several major universities, including the University of New South Wales and Swinburne University, will not record failed units on academic transcripts this semester.

 

“I’m not sure if universities in South Australia should go to the extreme of not reporting fail grades but delaying deadlines or providing extra assistance would be enough,” Isabelle said.

 

“It would help so many students still succeed in these uncertain times.”

If you or anyone you know needs help:

 

Lifeline: 131114

Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636

Headspace.org.au

Kids Help Line: 1800 55 1800

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COVID-19 is changing the way we live as we know it, what does this mean for already struggling university students and their mental health? IMAGE SOURCE: The Guardian

 

By Lauren Thomas-Nehmy, @LThomasNehmy

 

 

One month ago, Isabelle Tucker was enjoying everyday life like many other young Australians.

 

She was about to begin her final semester of a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science at the University of South Australia.

 

She worked casually as a receptionist and was completing a placement at Sturt Football Club.

 

She competed in various athletic events and was looking forward to travelling to Europe in June.

 

Overnight, Isabelle’s life became unrecognisable.

 

The vast and rapid onset of COVID-19 has forced cities and countries across the globe into lockdown.

 

Adelaide is subject to strict social distancing rules resulting in closures of cafes, restaurants, gyms and non-essential services.

 

Isabelle was forced to give up her placement and her remaining study has moved online.

 

“I’m adapting to the online environment, I’m lucky that my courses are set out well for online work, but my main concern is when I’ll complete my placement,” she said.

 

“I’m hopeful, but if I can’t complete another 100 hours before October, my graduation will be delayed.

 

“I was already experiencing anxiety, stress and depressive symptoms before this pandemic and now my negative emotions are elevated.”

 

Isabelle is one of many students confronted with increased mental health concerns as a result of COVID-19.

 

 

Students are a high-risk population

 

One in four young Australians will experience mental health concerns and  will need support now more than ever.

 

Professor Patrick McGorry is the executive director of youth mental health service, Orygen. Hewarns (who is he warning, the public? families? schools?) the mental health needs of young people during the COVID-19 response require urgent attention.

 

“We’re going to see a lot of new episodes of mental health issues and mental illness appearing even in people that previously hadn’t experienced this,” he said.

 

“But people with existing problems are going to get worse in many cases.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Professor Patrick McGorry, executive director of Orygen.     IMAGE SOURCE: Canberra Times

Last week, the Federal Government announced the COVID-19 National Health Plan, to support the mental health of Australians during the pandemic.

 

The $74 million dollar packageincludes expanded Medicare-subsidised services and  will allow Australians to access support to GP services and various mental health treatments  from home via telephone or video conferencing.

 

“The use of telehealth services and telephone support is vital as we continue to support young people through this period,” Professor McGorry said.

 

Isabelle says this service will encourage students to access quality healthcare while self-isolating, especially if Medicare takes away the financial burden.

 

“I will be using this service with a specialist in a couple [of] weeks and am very grateful it will be free.”

 

 

What are universities doing to support students?

 

The big three South Australian universities are working to accommodate the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

 

The University of South Australia and Flinders University are both providing counselling services over the phone and  The University of Adelaide have introduced Zoom video chat appointments.

 

The University of Adelaide has made changes to its  grading system and Flinders will not charge an amenities fee for the first semester.

 

Wellbeing hubs have been established online, providing a range of resources, from study snack recipes and entertaining clips to specialty health information.

 

In addition, UniSA has established a hardship fund, offering financial support to students most affected by the loss of employment, medical expenses and more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UniSA announces a COVID-19 hardship fund. IMAGE SOURCE: University of South Australia

 

Interstate, additional measures have been implemented to encourage students to continue with their studies.

 

Several major universities, including the University of New South Wales and Swinburne University, will not record failed units on academic transcripts this semester.

 

“I’m not sure if universities in South Australia should go to the extreme of not reporting fail grades but delaying deadlines or providing extra assistance would be enough,” Isabelle said.

 

“It would help so many students still succeed in these uncertain times.”

If you or anyone you know needs help:

 

Lifeline: 131114

Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636

Headspace.org.au

Kids Help Line: 1800 55 1800

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