As the coronavirus and its effects loom over the world, the negative impact on mental health creates a continuous conversation. With universities winding down toward the end of the semester, the stress accompanying approaching midterms and finals affects students and faculty in a different way.
Although extremely dedicated to accommodating students, the stress of the coronavirus isn’t any easier on the men and women at FAMU’S counseling services.
Many students are finding this semester to be unlike any other, with the stress of the coronavirus making it more difficult to channel the same amount of focus, dedication, and care they normally would.
“This semester is probably the hardest school has ever been for me in my entire life. It’s mentally exhausting because I feel a disconnect with my classes. And I feel as though teachers are not being understanding,” said 20-year old Florida A&M student, Azaria Austin, a business administration major from Tallahassee.
Kiya Reeves, a 22-year-old Florida A&M doctor of physical therapy graduate student from Chicago, shared a similar frustration regarding the current academic semester.
“This semester has definitely been a game changer for me. This program has been nothing less than difficult, but by the grace of God I’m managing. I’ve been trying to remain sane considering the circumstances, COVID. Overall, I’m just happy to be here,” said Reeves.
A 2015 graduate of FAMU and Counseling Services administrative assistant, Rasheedat McKay, informed The Famuan of the different outreach workshops and group counseling sessions offered by FAMU’s Counseling Services.
“In addition to our usual busy schedule this time of year, due to midterms and finals, we have seen an increase in outreach requests from professors to schedule informational Zoom calls for students. So, we do encourage students to attend the different programs we have so we’re able to accommodate more students,” McKay said.
McKay said that the Office of Counseling Services has hired two additional counselors, but they more often than not have to schedule appointments two weeks out, due to such high demand.
“Sometimes people call to schedule appointments only when things are bad, and because of our busy schedules we aren’t able to accommodate them as soon as we’d like. I always encourage students to come talk to us on a consistent basis about anything, not just before things get bad,” McKay said.
“Dr. [Anika] Fields and the other counselors here are not scary, we’re really nice, we don’t want people to be afraid to come talk to us.”
McKay encourages people to check out the office’s website, attend their events and programs, and to make sure to tell a friend.
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