NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – As the nation deals with an increasing number of mental health issues, Tennessee State University is providing resources to address the mental well-being of its students, especially amid the pandemic.
Incidents of suicide, or extreme bouts of depression and anxiety, have consistently made headlines across the country. Recent national statistics show 44 percent of college students reported having symptoms of depression and anxiety. Thirty percent of students reported feeling depressed in the past year, mainly because of the coronavirus that has impacted just about everyone in one way or another over the last two years.
Most colleges and universities have returned to in-person classes. But before that, students learned remotely, the majority at home. In some cases, says Dr. Richard Garvin, assistant professor of psychology at TSU, students had to stay in abusive environments, where campus living may have provided an escape.
“Let’s just assume the worse in that they’ve been living with an emotional or physical abuser,” says Garvin. “And they used to go to class as their way out. But now, they’re at home for 17 months. So that trauma kind of compounded itself.”
Garvin says the scarring that may have resulted from such an environment is why mental health programs like the ones offered through the University Counseling Center are so important.
Junior Darius Boyd says he is appreciative of the mental health programs TSU offers because he has peers in need of help. He says the pandemic continues to affect their lives, such as students struggling to raise grades that fell because COVID-19 forced them to learn remotely instead of in-person.
“It’s unbelievable how many students are affected by depression, especially during the pandemic,” says Boyd, a business information systems major from Memphis, Tennessee. “People’s lives have been shaken, including mine.”
Programs offered through the Counseling Center include:
- Individual counseling and psychological services support
- “Let’s Talk,” which consists of virtual drop-in hours three times a week for a brief (approximately 30 minutes), informal, friendly, no-cost consultation visit.
- Crisis support and intervention
- Psychological Assessment and Evaluation
- Training opportunities
- Campus outreach and consultation services
“TSU is committed to the well-being of our students and their mental health is our top priority,” says Frank Stevenson, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students. “The stress from the pandemic has created an uptick in the use of services, thus we have increased resources by serving our students in new and innovative ways. “
The Center also offers consultation with faculty and staff regarding student well-being and outreach presentations. Additionally, TSU has partnered with MyURGENCYMD telehealth services powered by TSU to support students when the Center has limited appointment availability or for after-hours support.
For more information about TSU’s Counseling Center, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/counseling/.
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Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight doctoral degrees. TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee. With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.