With classes back in session and the long awaited return to “normal” administrators need to consider the flexibility of their plans with regards to the delta variant. With no standard operating practice for the return of students institutions need to handle their incoming students by themselves. This uncertainty not only impacts administrators but students as well. Recent polls conducted in campuses across the country show students fears are mounting and their confidence in their schools plans are failing. Backlash against mask mandates and vaccine requirements add to the uncertainty some students have over their safety in the classroom or on campus in general.
Engaging in student wellness and mental health campaigns during the beginning of the school year sends the dual messages of understanding student concerns and putting forward solutions and compromises to meet a diverse student body on their ground. Campaigns focusing on resilience need to stress the self care approaches to personal safety while identifying built-in support the institution can offer to its students.
When designing your campaign, consider the following questions:
- Are your resources accessible for students who are uncomfortable with coming on campus?
- Is the campaign messaging consistent with campus precautions?
- Do students have a variety of choices on for resources?
- Are resources and messaging from the campaigns broad or issue specific?
Students need help connecting their needs with available resources. Expecting an individual in crisis to calmly parse through materials and identify the best options for their needs will lead to higher attrition rates amongst students.