Campus News · Community News

Mental health is today’s priority

Annette Bernsten

Lantern Staff

With COVID-19 cases on the rise again and seasonal depression well on its way, it is more important than ever that individuals are seeking the care they need, both physically and mentally. 

In a research study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in June of 2020, it was found that almost twice as many adults reported having seriously considered suicide during those 30 days than in the entire year of 2018 (10.7% compared to 4.3%). This alarming spike may rise even more with seasonal depression, adding to the impact. This combination of quarantine and seasonal depression is a significant reason why the mental health of students and faculty should especially be considered during this time.  

Butler provides services to students struggling with mental health, including those who are quarantined. Students who are unable to meet with a counselor in person have the option to meet virtually, and many have taken advantage of this.  

“This semester has stayed pretty busy with both in-person appointments and video appointments,” Counselor Nancy Hamm said. “I’ve received quite a few referrals from staff and students themselves. We use a telehealth platform that is very user friendly and secure, …. so even if a student cannot physically come to see me, we can make it work.” 

However, some students are unaware of Butler’s services. One student, who wishes to remain anonymous, described the impact quarantine had on their mental health. 

“It worsened in every way imaginable,” they said. “I couldn’t imagine going through another round of COVID.” 

This student also stated that they were unaware of Butler’s mental health services and were unable to get help during that time.  

There are several ways to combat depression and anxiety during quarantine. The CDC website lists several coping mechanisms, including knowing what to do if you are sick, taking a break from social media every now and then and communicating with others as much as possible. 

“Just talk to people,” the same student said. “Doing that helped me a bunch. Whether it’s on the phone, FaceTime, or video game chats, just talking to someone helps a lot.” 

 Hamm also recommends trying to keep a routine, as this helps maintain as much normalcy as possible and reduces stress. 

“I let students know that their health and well-being is priority and so be sure to tell a trusted support person when they first notice problems coping or feeling overwhelmed,” Hamm said. “Other people have either experienced something similar or they have good ideas and perspectives that can help relieve some of the pressure. We can’t fix a broken bone or an abscessed tooth by ourselves, and mental health needs to be looked at in the same way.” 

If you or someone you know needs counseling services, call Hamm at (316) 322-3162 or email at to schedule a free appointment. 

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