UI to host mental health online panel for student support during COVID-19

The panel will focus on resources and coping techniques to handle mental health problems stemming from the ongoing pandemic.


Hayden Froehlich

The University Counseling Services office is seen in the Old Capital Mall on Monday, February 17, 2020.

Naomi Hofferber, Arts & Culture Reporter

The University of Iowa has announced it will host a mental health virtual panel, “Coping and Resources in the Time of COVID-19,” as part of its efforts to provide mental health services to Hawkeyes during the ongoing pandemic. 

The student panel starts at noon and runs until 1:15 p.m. CDT April 23 via Zoom, and will feature campus experts and leaders discussing mental-health resources the UI will offer, in addition to coping strategies and tips, according to an email sent to students. 

There is also a panel for faculty and staff from 1:30-2:45 p.m. CDT April 23 via Zoom to learn about resources and coping strategies.

The University Counseling Service additionally has also offered a series of resources that can be utilized from a distance, from confidential individual counseling, a short video series focused on mental health advice, support groups and workshops for mindfulness, nutrition and sleep support services, at home fitness resources from the UI recreation services, and a “Let’s Talk, Hawks” service to consult about mental health and problem solving. 

“Our lives have changed significantly because of the coronavirus pandemic. This is an unprecedented time, and it can feel like we don’t have a lot of control,” the email stated. 

RELATED: State licensing restricts some nonresident students’ access to UI tele-mental health services

Additionally, the UI is offering support from their Student Emergency Fund, to give funds typically between $50 and $350 to Hawkeyes who are falling into hardship. 

As The Daily Iowan previously reported, University Counseling Service has faced limitations when trying to extend services to students living outside of Iowa, but they are exploring state law and working with legal counsel to navigate tele-mental health services during this time. 

UCS still offers a number of support groups and other opportunities for students via Zoom to help them cope from a distance.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article stated that the student panel begins at 1:15 p.m. It has been corrected to say the panel begins at noon. The DI regrets this error.