Increase mental health outreach

Due to the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, many students have felt an increase of mental health issues due to social isolation and online learning known as “Zoom fatigue.”

The rate in which students suffer from mental health issues has exponentially increased while many with limited resources have few places to turn.

According to ScienceNews, about 85% of 2,500 students that were surveyed from public schools across the county have experienced high functioning levels of distress, anxiety, depressions and lack of motivation. 

Prior to COVID-19, Pierce College had many available resources for mental health outreach and counseling for students who needed them. These resources are still available but have become more restricted now that in-person meetings are not allowed. 

The college provides all LACCD students with access to up to at least six  45 minute individual psychotherapeutic counselling meetings. 

Restricting the max number of possible meetings to six isn’t enough for students. This can be a critical issue for many students who seek therapy after consultations but can’t afford it.  

UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) and San Diego Miramar College (SDMC) have implemented programs and Canvas shells to deal with the difficulties in discussing mental health issues. 

SDMC has created a mental health shell that provides services to staff, faculty and students to get proper resources and tips. The school hosts weekly online Zoom mental health drop-in hours that provide brief consultations, stress and work management, while also providing helpful resources.

UCSB has provided their students with virtual Counseling and Psychological services, (CAPS) that are up and running at students’ needs  without restrictions. 

These schools often send reminders and weekly mental health emails to all their students to emphasize the importance of mental and physical health. 

These implementations and changes are essential to the overall well-being of the student body. While Pierce has continued to show effort in the importance of mental health, adding more accessible and reliable mental health services could be helpful for many students at Pierce College.