The Hechinger Report features an article on how educators, parents and students can navigate the uncertainty of returning to school amidst the resurgence of COVID-19 cases driven by the Omicron variant. Phyllis Fagell, a K-12 school counselor in Washington D.C., advises parents and educators to show extra kindness, support and compassion regardless of whether students return to remote learning or in-person. With more universities announcing delays to in-person learning, concern for college student mental health grows. As students enter their third year into the pandemic, the columnist emphasizes embracing “the powerful lessons we’ve learned so far” in the past two years.
In an opinion piece for EdSurge, Tondra L. Moore, the lead public health official at Prairie View A&M University, writes about college healthcare professionals experiencing burnout. “It has become more important than ever to stop and frequently communicate to my team of healthcare professionals my appreciation for their tireless efforts,” writes Moore. The uncertainty of the pandemic has led public health officials, such as herself, to “prepare expanded public health services for a long-term period without additional personnel or financial resources.” “The pandemic has demonstrated that student experiences and student services—and the people who provide them—must be fully acknowledged as vital components in the success of any institution of higher learning,” states Moore.
In an opinion letter for The New York Times, Gretchen Cappio, a parent of a college sophomore, argues that “universities must prioritize students’ mental health when addressing Covid-19 on their campuses.” Cappio’s child is a student at Dartmouth, where three students died by suicide last year.
Seattle Times interviews Meghann Gerber, a clinical psychologist who offers tips on how to support college students’ mental health after Washington colleges announce returning to remote learning due to the Omicron variant.
Kelsey Richards, a high school senior in Texas, is aiming to improve mental healthcare in prisons. “They go to solitary confinement. Solitary confinement is actually really bad for them and can worsen [their mental health],” said Richards.