February 12, 2021 | NVC PR | Leave a comment The Northwest Vista College Student Advocacy & Resource Center has introduced newly formed student support groups to expand mental health support services and to meet the needs of students with multiple intersectional issues in mind. While we know the need for food and housing has increased due to the pandemic, what has also increased by double digits is mental health. The table below shows a 19% increase in student self-identified need for mental health support from data collected January 2020-March 2020 compared to data collected March 2020-October 2020. To help students in this area, several supports will launch the week of Feb. 22-26 and include the following (below the graph): Coping and Connecting, Parenting Support, Non-Neurotypical Student Support, Intimate Partner Violence, LGBTQ; and Anger Management With the help of graduate and undergraduate social work interns from NVC’s university partners, the goal is to create a safe space on Zoom for students to talk about these topics for one hour and get advice and tips to use in their daily lives. Over the last year, the NVC Advocacy team triaged or assessed more than 767 students using nine factors as a guide to help establish a student’s level of need. The factors are: college, housing, utilities, food, medical/health, substance use, spiritual health, mental health, and employment. Needing help with utilities ranked No. 1, followed by food insecurity, housing, college and then mental health. NVC has been fortunate to be a recipient of CARES federal money which has been disbursed to more than 4,376 students in hopes of helping with pressing needs such as utilities, rent and food. Now, the Student Advocacy team is hoping with its social work interns, to expand service offerings to better address student mental health needs in a virtual setting. Also coming in the near future are unscheduled or drop-in sessions for students to get mental support, similar to NVC’s online tutoring areas. And, in the fall of 2021, NVC Advocacy plans to offer a two-day suicide intervention skills training to staff and students. Employees and staff are encouraged to refer students who may need basic needs support or other resources at this link. To learn more about the Student Advocacy and Resource Center visit this link.