I’m Sarah Lipson, an expert on mental health in college populations. Students, campus administrators, policymakers, and others, AMA about higher ed’s role supporting mental health amidst COVID-19.
I am Sarah Ketchen Lipson, assistant professor in the Department of Health Law Policy and Management at the Boston University School of Public Health.
My research focuses on understanding and addressing mental health in adolescent and young adult populations, especially college students. The traditional college years (ages 18-24) are a vulnerable period for mental health as this time directly coincides with age of onset for lifetime mental illnesses. College is also one of the only times when many of the main aspects of a person’s life are contained within a single institution. This presents an opportunity to identify and support students through prevention, early intervention, and treatment. For almost 10 years now, I’ve been conducting public health research to understand and address rising prevalence rates of depression, anxiety, eating disorders, suicidality, and other mental health concerns on campus. There is a lot to think about with regard to student mental health in the context of COVID-19 pandemic and campus closures.
How can faculty support student mental health during COVID-19 and campus closures?
Do certain populations face more mental health challenges than others? Why or why not?
Why is college such an important time to address mental health challenges and conditions?
What can family members, friends, caretakers, peers, etc. do to help an individual struggling with mental health
What are healthy ways to cope with stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges during COVID-19?
What are helpful resources we can access from home to improve mental health?
What kind of behaviors should we be avoiding to preserve and protect our mental health?
I am co-Principal Investigator of the Healthy Minds Study and Associate Director of the Healthy Minds Network – a research effort examining adolescent and young adult mental health. My scholarship has appeared in publications including American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Journal of Adolescent Health, Psych Services and Journal of American College Health, among others.
Thank you everyone for writing in – this has been a wonderful conversation! I will try to come back and address some of the questions that I did not get to today, but I have to log off for now. In the meantime, for more on my perspectives related to mental health please follow me on Twitter at @DrSarahLipson. Be well!