We have all been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and are experiencing profound changes to our lives. You have been asked to quickly transition to taking classes online, say goodbye to friends, let go of plans for end of the semester celebrations or events, and adapt to new ways of interacting with others.
These changes may have been incredibly stressful. In response, you may be experiencing new or intensified emotional experiences such as worry, anxiety, fear, and depression. Common reactions include sadness, boredom or a sense of stagnation, anger, disappointment, and grief over the abrupt end to the semester and the loss of long-awaited graduation celebrations.
Although these reactions can be distressing, they are appropriate and to be expected. According to the CDC, signs of stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include:
- Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
- Disruptions to sleep or eating patterns
- Difficulty concentrating
- Worsening of chronic health problems
- Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
If you have been quarantined for COVID-19 exposure or you become sick with COVID-19, you may also experience:
- Mixed emotions like sadness, anger, frustration, and relief after quarantine or recovery
- Guilt or anxiety about not being able to perform academic or work duties during quarantine or illness
Be patient with yourself. It’s important to remember we are each trying to handle this situation in the best ways we can. Below you will find resources to help support you during these challenging times.
It’s okay to ask for help
In a 2019 survey conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic by the American College Health Association, 77% of college students said they would consider seeking a mental health professional in the future if they had a personal problem that was really bothering them.
In fact, 44% said they had already received some psychological or mental health services, with more than 1 in 4 saying they had received services within the last 12 months (American College Health Association, 2019).
If you find yourself struggling, consider reaching out for support.
UHCS can help
If you have urgent concerns for your safety, health or wellbeing, including medical emergencies, immediately contact:
- On-campus: NUPD (617.373.3333)
- Off-campus: 911 (U.S.) or local emergency services (Intl.)
UHCS is available whether you are concerned about symptoms of COVID-19, need help with other medical concerns, or want mental health support. If you are interested in medical or mental health support through UHCS, you can:
- Call UHCS Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, at 617.373.2772
- Access medical and mental health phone consultations
- Learn about virtual mental health support groups available
- All full-time Northeastern students can call Find@Northeastern 24/7 from any location at 1.877.233.9477 (U.S.), 1.781.457.7777 (Int’l) to access:
- Immediate free support with a licensed mental health provider
- Personal assistance in locating and scheduling the help you need
- Five free counseling sessions each fall and spring semester, including video counseling options
- ICare internet cognitive behavioral training, a free self-guided program designed for college students experiencing stress and anxiety
If you’re feeling distressed during this uncertain time, please know you’re not alone. Join other Northeastern students for free and confidential online support groups for help with managing stress related to COVID-19, starting the week of April 27th.
Northeastern University Resources
- News@Northeastern: Updates on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- Global Resilience Institute: Online course on resiliency, safety and COVID-19
- COVID-19 resources for all Northeastern students
- COVID-19 resources and information for Northeastern students in Massachusetts
- Self-care practices during COVID-19
- We Care: For general support and questions about university processes, call 617.373.7591 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Office of Prevention and Education at Northeastern (OPEN): For COVID-19 related resources for survivors of sexual and domestic violence, for those in recovery, and for information about vaping, alcohol use, and COVID, click here, email email@example.com or call 617.373.4459
- Center for Sprituality, Dialogue and Service (CSDS): For daily meditation, yoga, or spiritual guidance, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617.373.2728
Community Mental Health Resources
- Crisis Text Line: Free 24/7 texting support with a Crisis Counselor.
- U.S. and Canada: Text HOME to 741741
- U.K.: Text HOME to 85258
- Ireland: Text HOME to 086 1800 280
- Trans Lifeline: Free 24/7 trans-led hotline that connects transgender people to the community, support, and resources they need to survive and thrive.
- Call 877.565.8860
- The Trevor Project offers free 24/7 crisis intervention and support hotline, online chat, and texting service for LGBTQ+ youth.
- Call 1.866.488.7386
- Text START to 678678
- Visit their website for online chat services
- The National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has an online coach to help address symptoms of PTSD, including worry and anxiety, anger, sleep problems, hopelessness, trauma reminders, and more.
- National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) has resources including a virtual forum, support groups, and a helpline.
- Call or text 800.931.2237 during hours of operation or text “NEDA” to 741741 to connect with a trained volunteer.
- The Boston Alliance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Youth (BAGLY) has a COVID-19 LGBTQ+ guide for housing, mental health, food, and other resources.
- Article: That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief
- Article: 7 Science Based Strategies to Cope with Coronavirus Anxiety
- Article: 9 Strategies for Quarantining in a Non-LGBTQ+ Affirming Environment
- Article: The Jed Foundation on COVID-19 and managing mental health