Thursday, January 28, 2021

Decrease in Registration for Boynton’s Mental Health Services

Headshot of Dr. Pat Frazier
Boynton Health is seeing a 25% decrease in new student registrations for their mental health services compared to fall 2019. A Minnesota Daily article titled “Boynton sees a 25% dip in new mental health patients during pandemic,” looks into why these numbers have decreased. According to Boynton’s Interim Director Dr. Matt Hanson, the challenge of connecting virtually with a mental health professional may be deterring students from using these services. Despite lower numbers, there has been a 15% increase in returning patients.

In the article Pat Frazier’s, PhD, professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, COVID-19 stress management survey findings are highlighted. Professors Liza Meredith (Psychology, UM-TC) and Viann Nguyen-Feng (Psychology, UM-Duluth) were co-investigators on the study. One noteworthy statistic was that 42% of a sample of psychology students surveyed in Fall 2020 had moderate to severe depression, compared to 28% in data collected in 2017. Additionally, survey respondents were asked to list their top stressors. The five most common stressors were worry about maintaining grades, missing seeing friends in person, difficulties with taking all online classes, concerns about police brutality, and general uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. While these stressors are challenging, Frazier notes that there are self-care strategies students can use to manage stress, such as taking media breaks and safely connecting with others.

Composed by Flora Pollack, communications assistant.