EvCC Support At A Distance

Remote learning at EvCC is set to continue throughout Spring quarter, welcoming many new and  returning students who are powering through amidst times of global isolation and illness. 

While this news might be some student’s dream come true, the continuation of physically-distanced learning can be disorienting and stressful for others. 

The CDC reports on their Coping with Stress page that “public health actions, such as social distancing, are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but they can make us feel isolated and lonely.” 

“I have noticed a marked increase in students’ anxiety, depression, lack of motivation and suicidal ideation while at the same a decrease in students seeking services during the pandemic,” says Jean Giudice, senior associate faculty counselor at EvCC. 

Although she doesn’t think this is unique to EvCC, Giudice says “something we talk about often is how to help students reach our services and reduce barriers.” With distant learning comes distant resources. Whether it’s simply not knowing where to go for assistance or downplaying the personal hardships that we are bound to face during a pandemic, obstructions like this could be hindering students from receiving the support needed to be successful. 

A post from Active Minds titled “Coping and Staying Emotionally Well During COVID-19-Related School Closures” states that “for most of us, having to unexpectedly leave or disengage with our community – even if just for a short time – can be stressful. If you’re feeling that stress, remember that is a natural response. Beyond that, others of us who live with anxiety or other mental illnesses can experience exacerbated symptoms from the added stress.”

EvCC Student, Rachel Brill, has spent some of her downtime during the pandemic opening an Etsy shop with fellow student, Beth Payne. Selling products they learned how to make in their Ethnobotany class, the shop is called Beth & Brill’s Basics. (Courtesy Photo from Rachel Brill.)

EvCC student, Rachel Brill shares that “The fall of 2020 would have been my first quarter at EvCC if not for COVID-19, I had planned on attending in person classes and was very excited to meet new people and make friends.” Although she has enjoyed her online learning experience, Brill said “any hopes I had for the social aspect of school have been on hold. It is so different over zoom because there’s not a lot of opportunity to talk to your classmates about things other than class.” 

“An important message to all students is that you don’t need to go through your struggles alone,” Giudice says. “Counselors at EvCC are so committed to student wellbeing and genuinely care. We are all trained mental health professionals who are willing and eager to serve students.”

EvCC’s Counseling and Student Success homepage is located on the college website and details some of the many free services offered by EvCC counselors with information on how to schedule an appointment. Giudice ensures students that “we regularly receive feedback from students on how helpful it is to have a safe environment to process and sort through all the things they are carrying with them, especially during this extraordinary time of loss and trauma for so many.”

Counseling sessions for personal, academic, or career guidance are held online via phone and video conferencing while the school continues to work remotely. EvCC is still following COVID-19 guidelines and will be operating remotely throughout Spring 2021 with the chance of opening the campus for some classes in the Fall. 

Check out the Resources for Coping and Wellness page for more information on COVID-19-related guidelines and resources. Other resources can be found on EvCC’s Mental Health Resources page, an information hub of resources for LGBTQIA+ students, military and veterans and students of color as well as connections to emergency resources for homelessness, domestic violence, addiction, grief and loss.