Mental health resources available for students

Photo+Courtesy+of+Getty+Images.

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images.

Mental health is a real struggle for many students, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. College of the Desert understands this and offers many resources for students feeling anxious or alone.

Elizabeth Goold is the assistant director of clinical services at COD. She said the student health and wellness center provides medical health services for students. “99.9% of services are free unless you are a nursing major or an ECE major where you might possibly have to pay for a little blood work or a shot,” said Goold.

COD has licensed clinical therapists available every day, and nurses available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Because of COVID-19, everything will be done online.

COD nurses are available to meet students online. For example, they can look at symptoms and check to make sure a student is eating right.

A mental health wellness workshop is scheduled for Sept. 29 at 11 a.m. An email will be sent out soon for all students to join.

“Number of calls to the crisis health line has not increased. However, the severity of the mental health issue has increased. For example, if someone was low level depressed, they are now severely depressed,” said Goold.

Being in quarantine has taken a toll, mainly on the elderly and the young’s mental health. Isolation from everything has had a big impact on mental health.

Goold offered tips for students, including eating right, exercising and setting a sleep schedule. Goold said those three basic things affect mental health greatly. Eating right will help boost your serotonin, and that is what makes you feel good. Sleep can affect your mood and although some students may like to spend their nights studying and doing homework, take a night to sleep in and see how it affects your mood.

For those who may struggle with anxiety, Goold has given the effected advice of moving around. Exercising helps decrease muscle tension, which lowers your body’s feeling of being anxious.

If you ever feel your mental health is hurting, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Make an appointment to talk to a therapist. Appointments are encouraged. If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, call 911. If you feel you need to talk to somebody, the mental health page offers many resources available 24/7.

“We were busier on campus,” says Goold. “We are finding that most students like seeing a therapist outside of the home. You’re in a different setting, and it’s private. Because of COVID, everyone is stuck at home with no privacy.”

It’s true it may be harder to see a therapist without your family being around. Services have increased once students get used to the idea of being at home. Some students have found it helpful to do their sessions in their car at home or in the parking lot somewhere.

Goold says you don’t have to let your family know you are going to therapy unless they are supportive of you. If you feel that you need to let your family know then tell them, but if you don’t think they will support your decision, don’t tell them. Work on yourself as long as you feel you’re doing what is best for you.

“We have to help each other; we have to do whatever we can to help each other,” said Goold.

The College of the Desert student health and wellness page has recourses to help you with your mental health. Two big resources are Wellness central and Student health 101.

Wellness Central gives you a tip about how to work on your well-being. COD’s wellness page offers many resources to help students deal with any mental health tips on how to eat healthily and how to help with anxiety, and many more.

COD has an arrangement with Borrego Health so students can get health care, make appointments and prescriptions. If you are a student and want to make an appointment, call 1-833-624-1097. For Borrego’s community resource and assistance, call 844-542-2121.