UT Students and Staff Address Mental Health Due to COVID-19
By Alyssa Crosby
Reporting Texas TV
AUSTIN, Texas – University of Texas senior Aidan Stone has had mental health struggles for years—and then the pandemic hit.
Like many other students, Stone opted to take all of his classes online. More than 75% of classes are being held virtually. The lack of socialization has taken a toll on Stone.
“There are days where I wake up, you know, like I can’t see my friends. I can’t interact with people,” Stone said.
“I love seeing my friends and they’re all really important to me. It makes me sad when I see them going on with life. I can text them and call them but it’s not the same interaction-wise.”
The stress of schoolwork coupled with living through a pandemic has some concerned about the impact on mental health.
Graduate student Daisy Guzman is a strategy tutor for UT’s Athletics Department. She works with athletes to plan out their week and aids them with time management skills. With midterms and finals fast approaching, Guzman said the worst is yet to come.
“If burnout happens, burnout this semester will be severe,” Guzman said. “It’s going to be ugly.”
UT’s Counseling and Mental Health Center is also completely online this semester. In addition to its regular services, CMHC has curated specialized groups and classes that are specific to coping with stress amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Katy Redd, the Associate Director for Prevention, Development, and Media Relations at CMHC, thinks the new telehealth services have been successful in reaching students in a safe, convenient way.
“Some level of virtual appointments even beyond the pandemic is probably something that [CMHC] will continue,” Redd said.
The spring semester will look a lot like the fall, according to UT President Jay Hartzell.
Stone, like many other students, will continue to opt for virtual courses as long as they are offered.
“It’s not constructive for me to sit around and be gloomy about stuff,” Stone said. “Instead, [I] just kind of do what I can in my day to day life and just hope that things get better.”
Students can schedule an appointment with CMHC at cmhc.utexas.edu.