June 13, 2021

Mental Health in a Pandemic: Stigma, struggles, strength

It’s no secret that this past year has been tough. From quarantine to online classes, the pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives in multiple ways. One thing that has been affected by the pandemic is mental health. 

Douglas Buzenski, Clinical Counselor-Supervisor at The Ohio State University, explained that although the pandemic has affected us in more ways than one, college students have the most resources to “navigate through the challenges.”

While the stigma on mental health has been an uphill challenge, Buzenski believes that students are slowly putting an end to those stigmas.

Mental health in a pandemic
Students can receive mental health help at the Center for Health and Wellness is located in Kline building.

“I think the view of mental health struggles and reaching out for support gets better and better as time moves forward. I think our college students today continue to tear down all kinds of stigmas in the way they support one another, share things they are comfortable sharing, and through the influence they have in their own family of origin around mental health,” said Buzenski. 

With a little over a month left of classes, it can be hard to take the time to focus on yourself and your mental health. Buzenski suggests that students should, “Take breaks and do something you enjoy. Focus on the things you can control. Look for ways you can be more social, more active. The weather has turned for the better, how can you get outside? What opportunities for socialization does this open up? How does it allow you to engage in the things you enjoy doing?”

The pandemic has been a test of not only how long you can wear a mask, but how long we can stay strong. 

“I encourage college students to embrace their resiliency. I invite all to change perceptions and view challenges as opportunities. I appeal to everyone to think outside of the box, to get creative, and to find ways to meet their needs in spite of the pandemic, not to just to make it until this is all behind us,” Buzenski said.

For mental health help on campus, reach out to the Center for Health and Wellness at 6114 (614-236-6114), or by sending an email to chw@capital.edu. 

Featured image by Polina Zimmerman via Pexels

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