Undergraduate Mental Health in the COVID-19 Pandemic Era

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2022

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Throughout the past decade, mental health conditions amongst undergraduate college students have been rising at an alarming rate. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, these issues have only been exacerbated. Levels of traditional mental health conditions amongst this population, such as anxiety and depression, are at an all time high. Productivity levels have declined and mental health facilities are becoming overwhelmed due to the decline in overall psychological wellbeing. Therefore, this study aims to uncover the pandemic-related factors contributing to this mental health crisis and identify mental health resource utilization patterns during the time of COVID-19, as this will help create a focus for future interventions. Overall, mental health service allocation must be improved to better address the needs of undergraduate college students, as the effects on their mental health throughout the COVID-19 pandemic have been damaging. This paper incorporates evidence gathered from an unstructured literature review and a plethora of methodological scientific studies to address these goals. Research has indicated that some of the primary pandemic-related factors leading to a decline in mental health amongst undergraduates include social isolation, personal relationship deterioration, and compromised online learning. Additionally, due to in-person safety restrictions, telehealth became the prominent forum through which mental health care was provided. While public views on the efficacy of telehealth are conflicted, the positive aspects of this system can be harnessed to improve mental health care in the future. Other plausible strategies for the future could include peer worker utilization and strategic messaging campaigns, as these methods showed preliminary success.

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