Students at more than one hundred US colleges and universities have transitioned to online learning following notices from their schools that in-person courses are ending – either temporarily or for the foreseeable future – due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of a school closure on campuses and students often goes beyond academics: we need to be aware of and prepared to cope with the potential impact these closures will have on the mental health and wellbeing of students, staff, and faculty.
For most of us, having to unexpectedly leave or disengage with our community – even if just for a short time – can be stressful. If you’re feeling that stress, remember that is a natural response. Beyond that, others of us who live with anxiety or other mental illnesses can experience exacerbated symptoms from the added stress.