Serving Monroe, Owen, and Greene Counties

On the Rise: Mental Health and Young Adults

On the Rise: Mental Health and Young Adults

“It’s very clear that the levels of stress people are going through is a whole new level of stress than it has been in the past.”

Mark Fraley, Associate Director of Indiana University Political and Civic Engagement program, offered this thought on his students’ mental health when moderating this month’s Wake Up! with United Way discussion. Early on Thursday, November 12, community members connected virtually to discuss, “On the Rise: Mental Health and Young Adults.”

The discussion was joined by Daisy Anspach, MA, LCSW, Counselor at Indiana University Division of Student Affairs; O’Connell Case, LSCW, Clinical Director of Catholic Charities Bloomington; and Cara Reader, Ph.D., Director of Student Success and Retention at Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington.

The panelists explored the unique mental health needs of students and young adults and how these needs have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“The intensity of the calls is more urgent than they’ve been before the pandemic,” said O’Connell.

She said Catholic Charities has seen the need for services triple during the pandemic.  

“For our students, we’re often the most stable and secure place that they have,” said Reader when explaining how the pandemic has disrupted that stability and created new challenges in connecting with students.  

She and other staff at Ivy Tech Bloomington have tried to mitigate this disruption by implementing new ways of reaching out, like phone calls from faculty “buddies” and regular text messages of encouragement from the Student Success Center.  

These disruptions caused by the pandemic has also impacted the ability to form social connections.  

“With freshman especially,” said Anspach, “not being able to build a community, not being able to build an area of support, leads to more loneliness.”  

If you’d like to hear more areas of this discussion, including barriers to services, life planning stress during a pandemic, and how administrators can improve services, watch the full video of the event below.  

To engage with this topic further, watch the full Wind Down! with United Way video here, or explore the resources listed below



Mental Health Resources

Helpful Resources:


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Wake Up! with United Way is a collaborative project of United Way of Monroe County and IU’s Political and Civic Engagement Program, with thanks to The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce and the Bloomington Board of Realtors for series support.
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