Despite Ohio State’s campus being shut down, there are still resources available for students who are struggling with the recent changes implemented by the university.
Ohio State’s Counseling and Consultation Services, Buckeye Food Alliance and the Student Wellness Center are among the resources that continue despite the COVID-19 outbreak.
CCS will not hold in-person meetings for the near future but is still available for students through telephone triage video conference sessions, Dave Isaacs, Ohio State spokesperson, said. Students must participate in a phone screening before a session to be assigned a counselor, and counselors will still hold regularly scheduled appointments via video conference, Isaacs said.
“Counselors understand that everyone has a reaction to the incidents going on. Fear, anxiety, loneliness or confusion — CCS counselors are willing to help,” Isaacs said.
CCS has also had to change the ways it helps students during this transition, Issacs said.
CCS’ in-person workshops are canceled, but it made skill-building videos, such as Mental Health Strategies for muscle relaxation and grounding skills, accessible on its website to help students transition, according to the website.
In addition to CCS’ new format, Issacs said there are videos on its website providing students with information about COVID-19.
Another service is Buckeye Food Alliance, a nonprofit student-run pantry at Ohio State that provides students with food no matter their situation, Nick Fowler, BFA director and public health graduate student, said.
“Our mission really is to make sure students have access to food regardless of their security level, where they’re at financially,” Fowler said.
About 15 percent of undergraduate Ohio State students are food insecure, according to a survey conducted by Ohio State in 2014.
Some dining services are operating on modified hours for the remainder of spring semester, including Connecting Grounds and 12th Avenue Bread Co., while some aren’t open at all, according to the dining services website.
BFA has made changes in an effort to keep its pantry open while practicing social distancing. Fowler said they try to limit the amount of time people spend in the pantry by prepackaging bags that students can pick up.
“They still have access to the same great food. It’s just the format in which they’re getting it is a little bit different,” Fowler said.
Fowler said attendance at the pantry March 16 was “higher than usual” and could be attributed to the campus shutdown.
The pantry’s goal is to stay open as long as it can and to provide food for students until it is forced to close, Fowler said.
Additionally, the Student Wellness Center at Ohio State is offering appointments through Zoom for wellness and nutrition coaching, as well as other types of coaching, according to the website. Other resources, such as the Buckeye Peer Access Line, a nonemergency safe space for students to gain support, will be operating during its normal hours — Monday through Friday from 8 p.m. to midnight — when classes are in session.
A comprehensive list of available student resources during the university closing can be found on the Office of Student Life website.
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