Q: What is UHV doing to help students through this stressful time?
A: The COVID-19 pandemic has upended lives all around the world in one way or another for the past couple of months. Many people are feeling anxious, fearful and stressed as we all adjust to social distancing regulations and staying at home to remain healthy.
The University of Houston-Victoria is working hard to ensure our students have the resources they need to help with their mental health and well-being through this unprecedented time. While campus is closed, the university has transitioned its services online so that students can continue to receive the help they need.
The UHV Counseling Center is operating in full force as the clientele has understandably increased. UHV has two counselors and a health educator who are conducting daily one-on-one therapy sessions with students. In the past, a counselor working remotely could only do sessions over the phone. Now, counselors can have virtual sessions with students through Zoom and are able to see and connect better with students than by telephone alone.
These daily sessions can last from 30 minutes up to an hour and are similar to the services students receive in person at the center. Students also can receive therapy assistance through the self-help tool Therapy Assistance Online, or TAO, to help them between sessions.
TAO has become a vital tool for the UHV Counseling Center to help students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therapy assistance can consist of assignments through TAO that are in line with the topic of the session, such as how to handle stress or ways to reduce and overcome anxiety. TAO has become a vital tool for the UHV Counseling Center to help students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, TAO has made one of its many tools, the Mindfulness Library, free for everyone at www.taoconnect.org/mindfulness-exercise.
Although the spring semester is coming to an end, UHV will have all of its summer classes online as well. Registered students can continue to receive counseling services over the summer so they can continue to receive the help they need.
In addition to counseling services, students can also turn to social media and participate in the daily events and challenges posted on the UHV Student Life Facebook page. For some, doing a Tuesday TikTok dance challenge against jaX, or going head-to-head against other students during Trivia Thursday is the simple cure to feeling isolated. Students also can check the Facebook page on Mondays for motivational quotes, and Fridays for at-home fitness tips. All of these activities and exercises help keep students engaged and lift their spirits up when they need a break from school or as a fun stress reliever.
These are just some of the ways UHV is supporting our students as we all tread through these uncharted waters together.