The COVID-19 outbreak is a source of anxiety for many. The university-wide transition to remote learning and working may also create feelings of isolation. To help with this, we have compiled several resources below for graduate students related to wellbeing and finding connections in this time of working together, apart. The following resources are from the KUMC COVID-19 Resource Center, the Watkins Health Center COVID-19 portal, and coronavirus.ku.edu, where you can find additional information. We also recommend visiting UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center's Guide to Wellbeing during the Coronavirus.
If you or a graduate student you work with is experiencing heightened levels of stress or anxiety, please help direct them to the counseling services available through KU Counseling and Psychological Services.
To help manage fears, anxiety, and uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 situation, the following actions are recommended:
- Stay informed using the CDC website or their ongoing Situation Summary.
- Limit worry by lessening the time spent watching or listening to upsetting media coverage. Remember to take breaks from the news and focus upon things that are positive in your life and that you have control over.
- Be mindful of your assumptions about others. If someone coughs or has a fever, there are many potential causes that do not include coronavirus.
- Consider reviewing the CDC's Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19 website or the Managing Stress and Anxiety page.
- "Coping with COVID-19: Resiliency While Socially Distant" presentation (March 30, 2020) - PDF and MP4 (Video)
Confidential, immediate support is available through these national helplines.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration:
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
ADDITIONAL ONLINE RESOURCES
To better assist KU students during the COVID-19 pandemic, Watkins is now offering virtual appointments for established patients needing an appointment with their provider for follow-up visits or prescription refills. Using Zoom video-conferencing technology, students can securely connect to one of KU's board-certified medical providers via the Zoom app. This quick and easy solution allows for live consultations over a computer, tablet or phone. Learn more at the Watkins Health Center COVID-19 portal.
Many of you are encountering unexpected expenses that may have a significant impact on your ability to continue your studies while maintaining your shelter and food security. To help alleviate financial burdens created by COVID-19, Graduate Studies has partnered with Student Senate to identify additional emergency funds, which we will distribute through the Emergency Aid Network. Please apply for these funds if you have an acute need, using the help.ku.edu portal.
As a result of the pandemic, some students will be at even greater risk of food insecurity. KU's Campus Cupboard partner Just Food has developed new distribution methods to serve the community and students while maintaining social distancing.
MAINTAIN SOCIAL CONNECTIONS
Maintaining social connections helps create a sense of normalcy and provides valuable outlets for sharing feelings and relieving stress. During this time of social distancing, it is recommended that you maintain your routines as much as possible and keep connected through resources such as online video chat or other social media apps. Resist withdrawing and isolating yourself. If your day-to day-activities are disrupted by the campus closures, attempt to create structure in your day by: scheduling a normal bedtime and wake-up time; structuring your time with hobbies, homework, reading, etc; scheduling regular phone/video contact with friends and family.
Student organizations and student leaders across campus should monitor the regular updates provided at coronavirus.ku.edu and plan to abide by campus plans and decisions. Student organizations should consider online or Skype meetings for the foreseeable future to maintain community while reducing exposure and ensuring all members’ safe and healthy participation.
GRADUATE STUDENT APPRECIATION WEEK
Please join the Office of Graduate Studies for our Virtual Pet Cafes in celebration of Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week! No pets required, of course, but if yours would like to share a bit of the limelight, we’d love to meet them!