According to the report published by OECD in May this year, “Supporting Young People’s Mental Health Through the COVID-19 Crisis,” it turned out that in most countries, mental health issues among young people (15–24 year-olds) have doubled or more. In addition, a weekly report published in August by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States, “Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicide Ideation During COVID-19 Pandemic,” stated that at least one adverse mental or behavioral health symptom was reported by more than one half of respondents who were aged 18–24 years (74.9%)

To raise awareness and seek the solution for mental health issues during the pandemic, the ASEZ university student volunteer group at the University of Connecticut [UCONN], Southern Connecticut State University, and Yale University hosted an online forum.

The forum panelists included the President of UCONN Dr. Thomas C. Katsouleas, General Pediatrician and UCONN Medical School Preceptor Dr. Tina Roman, and Director of Mental Health and Counseling at Yale University Dr. Paul Hoffman.

The panelists discussed about mental health among university students. They highlighted the importance of having an open discussion, and offered ways to combat mental health.

President of UCONN Dr. Thomas C. Katsouleas focused on the impact and the difference that ASEZ “Cheer Up” Campaign is making on the university students, and emphasized that the universities in the business of human development and work force development must first address mental health issues.
He also thanked ASEZ for bringing to light this very important mental issue, saying, “If you’re not well, you can’t learn, you can’t be creative, you can’t reach your fullest potential.”

Dr. Paul Hoffman from Yale University said, “I’ve really been impressed by the level of support that college students are willing to give to each other and the level of presence that people are willing to give each other. It’s so important right now that students be able to be kind to each other and listen to each other.”

UCONN Medical School Preceptor Dr. Roman stated that the American Academy of Pediatrics recently came out with a pamphlet where the main focus revolves around building resiliency in people, and emphasized the meaning of contribution which helps to build a person’s resiliency. He said ASEZ obviously encouraged the development of mentality and showed the importance of being a part of a bigger community so that it would be helpful in developing a person’s character. He added, “The world is a better place because you are in it. This group exemplifies the meaning of contribution to a core.

ASEZ club president at UCONN Kayla Hardin said, “Through this forum, we hope that students can understand the importance of mental health and feel more comfortable discussing the topic. We also think it’s important for all students to understand how to get access to the proper help and care that is needed.”

It is not easy to notice mental health issues, which requires special care. But we can find and solve the issue by having a little consideration and communication for others. In this COVID-19 pandemic, why don’t you pay attention to your neighbors who need your concern and to little changes in their words and actions?
ASEZ will continue to make good communication among people with daily support and concern