Demand for student support rises as pandemic continues


(WTNH) — While some students have gone home for the holiday break, others are isolating in their dorms after testing positive for COVID-19. That feeling of loneliness is now taking a toll on young students in Connecticut.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness’ Connecticut chapter is seeing an uptick in crisis responses among students at UConn.

Valerie Lepoutre, Manager of Peer Initiatives, Education and Training at NAMI CT, says students are talking about suicide a lot more and the experiences they are missing out on. She says many, if not all, are worried about going back to school or going home.

She says during the fiscal year from 2018 to 2019, NAMI received about 500 calls. Now they are receiving over a hundred a month. “If we have people reaching out, it gives us an opportunity to say, well, we can provide for you, or we can connect you with someone who can help you. We don’t want people to feel alone. That’s ultimately our goal at NAMI – we never want anyone to feel alone in their experiences.”

Lepoutre says they have created more support groups and have hired addiitonal staff to help during the pandemic. If you or anyone you know is finding it hard to cope with their feelings during this time, you can call the NAMI support services number at 860-882-0236.

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