Recent studies have shown that college students’ wellbeing has been negatively impacted by the COVID pandemic. More than 70% of college students reported that they were struggling to stay focused and more than 50% said that they were having a hard time getting coursework completed. Forty percent (40%) of college students are struggling even to attend class and more than 60% of students said that COVID negatively impacted their mental health. Despite this need, the study showed that only 23% of students reported reaching out to mental health services on campus. The Counseling Center has seen a similar pattern on Ball State’s campus, with 40% fewer students calling for therapy in the fall.
Despite this pattern, experts believe that once COVID restrictions are lifted, it is likely that there will be a surge in demand for mental health services. In preparation for this, the Counseling Center has developed a number of new services including many self-help resources. The Counseling Center has also more than doubled the size of the Resource & Relaxation Room. The Resource & Relaxation Room provides a safe place where students can improve their wellbeing by accessing self-help resources such as free massage chairs, light therapy boxes, information on mental health, and even a free condom shop. However, with a larger space, we are looking to expand and modernize the options available to students.
At this point we are not sure which resources will be added to the Resource & Relaxation Room. In part the resources added will depend on how much money we raise, but we are currently considering adding:
- Study/Nap Pods (cost $5,000 to $10,000 each)
- Virtual Reality Relaxation Programs (Cost $5000)
- Additional Massage Chairs (cost $2,000-$4,000 each)