Supporting Students’ Mental Well-Being

A recent article from Inside Higher Ed, shares information from a survey conducted that explored ways the pandemic has had a negative impact on students’ academics, mental health and sense of the future (see Survey: Pandemic Hurt Students, but They Aren’t Seeking Help). Students around the country have clearly been challenged by remote learning, with more than half reporting their courses and learning experiences as “worse” than pre-pandemic semesters. Moreover, seventy percent of all students indicated the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted their mental health. Surprisingly, while facing these challenges, 77% of students reported that they have not sought support at their college for mental health.

Having heightened awareness that increasing numbers of students may be experiencing mental distress, and being able to respond with resources and support is important for the well-being of our students. Colgate has a wealth of resources to support students, and during the latter part of the fall semester, the Dean of the College division shared a new resource: The Red Folder. This booklet serves as a useful tool for faculty and staff as they seek to support students throughout the semester. Taking time to review this document can be helpful, because it offers guidance for recognizing the symptoms of distress, whether in academic performance or behavior in the classroom, and it offers actionable steps that can be taken to better support our students. 

Moving through the gates quickly is key to getting our students back as close to normal as possible. As with last semester, much of this depends on careful attention to our commitment to community health. Please frequently remind our students about their responsibilities . They did something amazing last semester… let’s have them do it again!