The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant negative impact on college students’ mental health. While students’ mental health is already a concern for universities – 40% of undergraduates reported feeling depressed within the last 12 months – the pandemic has made it worse, as the painful but necessary decision to close campuses has added new stressors for students: isolation, sick family members and financial issues, among others. Over 90% of college presidents report being concerned about the pandemic’s emotional impact on students. But with students at home and administrations tackling the many new challenges associated with remote learning, how do universities optimize resources to address mental health challenges? By using secure messaging that allows them to easily connect with students without straining their resources and enables students to easily reach out to universities for support at any time. Let’s examine.
Secure messaging protects students’ privacy
Demand for mental health services hasn’t decreased despite students no longer being on campus, and now universities must find a way to provide students with counselling services remotely—all while juggling campus closures. In a recent survey, 75% of students reported increased levels of anxiety, depression or stress since being sent home. The sensitive nature of mental health discussions means that popular online communication tools that have been widely compromised (such as Zoom) don’t cut it when it comes to protecting students’ and counsellors’ privacy. Secure messaging privacy and security features means that sensitive conversations are protected at all times.
Secure messaging helps universities balance responsibilities
With administration, faculty and staff dealing with difficult decisions around course content, when to reopen campuses and how to move forward with research projects, finding a way to provide systems with remote counselling that protects students ‘privacy and caters to staff and students’ busy schedules is difficult. Secure messaging is a simple way to establish contact with students without having to contend with complicated technology and lets students and mental health staff touch base easily and quickly, avoiding any tedious missed phone calls or video chats that could slow down care.
Secure messaging makes it easy to connect with students
On the student side, being at home can make accessing mental health support more difficult than ever. In addition to their online course loads, students may be juggling helping out around the house and supporting sick family members, making it hard for them to find time for counselling services. Secure messaging is key in this situation because its accessible to students wherever they are and allows them to communicate even while dealing with their new lives. In some cases, students may want or need to keep the mental health conversations they are having from other household members. Secure messaging protects their privacy from any prying family members or roommates by protecting any messages shared between students and counsellors and letting students contact support services on their own time.
In the current situation, implementing a solution to providing mental health support to students remotely can seem like a tall order, but with the right secure messaging solution, it doesn’t have to be. Vaporstream ensures that any conversations around mental health are protected at all time. Students can easily and quickly reach out to their support system wherever they are without having to worry that their messages could be read or forwarded. Vaporstream is easy to set up and easy to use on any phone, tablet or laptop. Schedule a demo with us today to learn how we can support your remote mental health services.