College should be a time when students grow, make new friends and explore their passions. But Americans of college age increasingly report that they feel anxious or lonely — and that was before the upheaval of COVID-19.
USC students can’t hug a friend they see on campus. No longer can they collapse on a couch to share a pizza together or drop by a classmate’s apartment for a Minecraft marathon. University administrators know it hurts, and they understand.
“Many students have shared with us the kinds of reactions they are having: a sense of grief, loss and even frustration,” said Sarah Van Orman, chief health officer for USC Student Health. Safeguarding the physical health of students is important, especially during the pandemic, she said. But USC leaders also are committed to protecting students’ mental and emotional health and helping them build resilience.
That’s why USC students now have 85 psychiatrists,