How can social media affect students’ mental health?

A South Georgia college is providing mental health services to students especially in a social media-driven world.
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 6:04 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - A South Georgia college says it will provide mental health resources to its students because they need care for their overall well-being.

Mental health is just as important as physical health. If you don’t have someone to talk to, Albany Technical College has a wellness director who has put together initiatives, such as “Wellness Wednesday.”

Albany Technical College has pushed many initiatives regarding students’ mental health. Currently, the school does not have a built-in mental health day, but they are working on it.

“We are implementing what we call ‘Wellness Wednesdays’ and it’s mostly on social media. Just a reminder for students to take a second and think about their mental or physical health. Whether they need to unplug from their cellphones or take a walk around campus. So, we encourage that through the app,” said Lashea Dancer, director of student wellness.

Dancer has pushed for the mental, academic and physical preparedness grant that has only been underway for two years. This grant is designed to help first year and first generation students have a smooth transition.

“As far as mental health with the grant what we are doing is providing counseling services for students. If students feel they need to talk to someone, they just come to my office, and we make an outside referral to another agency. The agency we use has been really good about seeing the students right away,” said Dancer.

Albany Tech Student Stacey Felder said social media can present some negative outcomes. But she focuses her energy on Instagram, which stimulates growth for her career.

“I really like Instagram, and my reasoning for staying with Instagram is because it’s a little bit more educational based. With me going to school for cosmetology, it’s like you have more educational things on there such as where to get the hair equipment from, different styles. You can really learn from different types of people on there,” Felder said.

Statistics state that Gen Z is likely to spend their free time watching videos on social media.

One way you can tackle mental health is to try new coping mechanisms.

“When I wake up in the morning, I don’t look at my phone I try not to look at it so that I can have a moment to myself. I try to mediate and stay to myself. It’s okay to exclude yourself before the day starts. I get in front of the mirror, and I say, ‘I’m ready for this day.’ Hope for the best always prepare for the worst,” said Za’Keiya Sparks, Albany Tech student.

Said Felder: “Just keep the faith. I don’t really go to people to solve my problems or anything. I just pray about it, and that tends to work for me.”

A unique way to not keep things bottled up is to write them down. It will create a more balanced and healthier lifestyle.

“From time to time, I will have a journal of everything I went through. So, it’s like when I’m done and get over that hunch and I can go back and look at the book, I can say wow I really did this. So, I know I can keep going with that journal, and with that journal at the end well I do I I burn it,” said Sparks.

It’s important to remember to unplug whether it’s daily or some form of a cleanse. Mental health professionals suggest that you ask for help if needed.