After looking at the viewpoints of the Republican and Democratic parties about how we should address the mental health of our students during the pandemic, it’s time to look at the students themselves. This research paper was published in March 2021 and asks students several questions about how their mental health is, and how it has changed in the last year.
The data was collected at a public University in North Carolina and addresses the most common stressors that the pandemic brought. These stressors include: “work reductions by either students or their parents, Covid-19 diagnosis or hospitalization of oneself, family members, or friends, distanced learning, and social isolation” (Jane Cooley, et al). Participants were asked a series of questions relating to their mental health in Wave I (pre-pandemic) and Wave II (four months into the pandemic). “The prevalence of moderate-severe anxiety symptoms increased by 40 percent from 18.1% pre-pandemic to 25.3% mid-pandemic. Similarly, the prevalence of moderate-severe depression symptoms increased by 48 percent from 21.5% to 31.7%. The prevalence of moderate-severe depression symptoms also varied by the demographic group” (Jane Cooley, et al). Main stressors are related to when jobs were lost, difficulty with distance learning, social isolation, and those who were already struggling with mental health. This shows that how the pandemic has affected college students. While this study did not try to present solutions, they did provide stressors that can be addressed in the near future.