Students experience burnout during second semester

By Sophie Casaburi , Contributing Writer

There has been an increase in the number of students reporting loss of motivation and burnout compared to last semester, according to Dr. McCowan, director of the Counseling Center, and Dr. Stock, associate director of clinical services.
Active Minds is a nonprofit organization that aims to end the stigma of mental health. Aliss Tomanek, vice president of the University’s Active Minds Chapter, has found it difficult to be motivated and complete work, given that the pandemic has taken away the social aspect of student life.
“Socialization is a way to work against burnout because people feed off each other’s energy,” Tomanek said. “I’ve definitely noticed people are grasping at straws to any socialization, like going to extra meetings and some students are already going to bars and what-not, which I personally don’t agree with but I understand why they’re doing it because they are missing that social part of being a student.”
Tomanek also stated that many Active Minds members lack motivation this semester and feel more depressed.
In November, Chancellor Jones and Provost Cangellaris appointed a mental health working group, which consists of 64 faculty, staff and students across the University’s units and departments.
The goal of the working group is to “plan, build and implement enhanced efforts to support the emotional and psychological well-being of our campus community,” wrote Dr. Danita Brown Young, vice chancellor of Student Affairs and co-chair of the mental health working group, in an email.
One of the issues the mental health working group seeks to address is student loss of motivation, burnout and “zoom-fatigue.” The working group is addressing burnout concerns by making the current mental health resources more accessible to students via developing a website containing all campus mental health resources.
According to Tyler Swanson, undergraduate in ACES and member of the mental health working group, mental health resources are distributed across campus, including the Counseling Center, McKinley Health Center, the Women’s Health Center and more. However, this distribution can make it difficult for students to navigate.
“It’s very hard to know exactly where you need to go when you have a problem,” Swanson said. “What we are hoping what this (website) will do is just take all these different myriad resources that are all in different places and put them in one place where students can go.”
Current mental health resources offered by the Counseling Center include one-on-one counseling, group therapy and outreach programs including workshops for students struggling with perfectionism, test anxiety and time management.
In addition, eight colleges and departments have an embedded counselor in which students can schedule an appointment to discuss mental health concerns.
According to Swanson, scheduling a meeting with his ACES embedded counselor was a simple process, as he only had to contact them through email and skip a long appointment process.
“I know it’s being expanded to more colleges, but I hope they can do it sooner, because it has been a very beneficial resource to me,” Swanson said.

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