Supporting the Mental Health and Well Being of Our Students During COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll in many ways, including the mental health challenges it has brought for many. The impacts of physical distancing, stay at home orders, and the high death rates of COVID 19 have ushered in a wave of mental health issues including a rise in depression, anxiety, substance use, and even suicide.1
Even as adjustments are made so society can function as safely and effectively as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health remains a concern. At Walden University, we are committed to supporting the mental health and wellness of our students. That’s why we strive to continually provide our community with the resources they need to meet the challenges of today, tomorrow, and beyond.
At Home Learning Resources
Though Walden students are familiar with distance learning, Walden has developed webinars and articles to enhance the online experience during COVID-19. Topics include effective virtual learning practices and routines, how to cope with prolonged periods of being at home, and helpful organizational tips. Walden also provides key resources for parents or caretakers who are having to manage more domestic responsibilities as a result of the pandemic. From home schooling strategies to engaging learning activities to meal planning, these resources are designed to give Walden students the support they need to thrive at home.
Resources on Self Care and Financial Health
Walden has also developed insightful webinars and articles that promote self care and maintaining financial health during the corona virus pandemic. For instance, the Walden webinar “Mindfulness as a Path to Resilience” features educator Sally Arnold as she discusses how to integrate the neuroscience based practice of mindfulness into your life. And an interview with Dr. Bob Castaneda—program director for Walden’s BS in Accounting, MS in Accounting, and MS in Finance programs—provides students with tips on how to manage finances in times of crisis. These resources, plus others on coping with anxiety, implementing good mental health practices, and creating a meaningful life after trauma, aim to extend compassion and guidance to students as they navigate difficult times.
Resources for Healthcare Workers and Educators
Professionals working in healthcare and education have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. They’ve worked tirelessly to keep our communities safe and informed, meet unprecedented demands head on, and address ongoing public concerns. That’s why Walden has provided resources specific to assisting and supporting the individuals serving in these ever important roles. For healthcare and frontline workers, Walden’s webinars and articles focus on a range of topics, including self care best practices, how to combat compassion fatigue, the future of telehealth, and stress management. For educators, webinars and articles discuss the various ways to prevent teacher burnout, how to deliver P–20 education post COVID-19, and strategies to aid teacher retention.
Acts for Good
In 2020, Walden launched Mobilize for Good—an initiative aimed at working with university alumni to give back to the causes that inspire them. And in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Walden carried on performing Acts for Good across the U.S.—including in Greensboro, North Carolina, with Dr. Sabreen Mutawally, a 2018 PhD in Education graduate.
As a high school assistant principal, Dr. Mutawally understands the challenges her students face and the importance of mental health and wellness advocacy. At age 16, Dr. Mutawally’s student Nigel Moffitt-Shabazz lost both his father and grandmother. Shortly after, Nigel’s mother was hospitalized, undergoing life-saving open-heart surgery. Feeling like he had nowhere to turn, Nigel reached out to his assistant principal. “Dr. Mutawally always offered a ride from my school to the hospital … and came to me personally to let me know, ‘If you need to talk, I’m here.’”
During this time, Dr. Mutawally became Nigel’s mental health advocate. “I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was going to stay by his side to ensure that he received the help that was needed,” she said. She encouraged Nigel to seek therapy—a treatment often surrounded by negative stigma in the Black community—and he was able to address his emotional needs and develop healthy coping mechanisms. Now in college, Nigel cites Dr. Mutawally as one of the reasons why he made it through such difficult times.
To honor Dr. Mutawally’s inspiring work as part of the Mobilize for Good mission, Walden donated $15,000 to the Yes Foundation to help fund therapy services for teens.
Hear more about Dr. Mutawally’s impact and Walden’s commitment to Acts for Good.
Give Your Career in Counseling a Boost When You Enroll in Walden’s Dual Degree Program
If these topics interest you, and you want to help others cope during difficult times like these, a career in counseling might be a good choice. At Walden, you can earn your degree in both clinical mental health counseling and school counseling at the same time. The MS Dual Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling program is designed for working professionals who are looking to gain the skills and training they need to broaden their opportunities and work in a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, and individual and family service organizations. With five specializations and a General Program to choose from, you can align your counseling dual degree program and coursework with your professional goals and interests as you prepare to pursue licensure or certification in the field. And, thanks to online education, you can earn your master’s in an accessible, safe environment while you continue to work full time. That means you can better maintain a work life balance while you expand your credentials and gain the experience you need to improve the lives of children, individuals, and families as a mental health professional.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering high quality online degree programs, including an MS Dual Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.
Notes on Accreditation and Licensure
MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Walden University’s MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), which is a requirement for licensure in many states. The MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is designed to prepare graduates to qualify to sit for licensing exams and to meet the academic licensure requirements of many state counseling boards. Because no graduate program can guarantee licensure upon graduation, we encourage students to consult the appropriate agency to determine specific requirements. For more information about licensure, students should visit the National Board for Certified Counselors at www.nbcc.org/search/stateboarddirectory and/or the American Association of State Counseling Boards at www.aascb.org, and contact the appropriate licensing body. International students are encouraged to identify and contact their appropriate licensing body. Learn more about professional licensure.
MS in School Counseling: The MS in School Counseling program meets the standards for school counseling licensure or certification and is a state approved program in Minnesota and Ohio. The MS in School Counseling program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), which may also be a requirement to become licensed or certified as a school counselor in some states. In addition, some states require school counselors to have an existing teaching license or certification, and teaching experience, in order to be eligible for a school counseling certification/license. Learn more about professional licensure.
Further, many states require school counseling programs to be approved in at least one state, either their own or another state. The MS in School Counseling program is approved by the states of Minnesota and Ohio, and while this approval is accepted by the majority of states which require state approval, it may not be accepted by all states. Walden is not approved to offer the MS in School Counseling degree in Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Mexico, or Tennessee, so if you reside in one of these states, you will not be eligible for the dual degree.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
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