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MGSU expands resources as mental health crisis worsens due to COVID-19

BeWell@MGA gives students 24/7 access to counselors and mental health resources.

MACON, Ga. — New studies show that COVID-19 is raising anxiety among college students.

Middle Georgia State University is making sure their students stay on track with a new mental health program called, “BeWell@MGA.”

“In the beginning, there definitely was an increased level of anxiety,” said senior Kamryn Toney.

That last year of learning can be stressful for anyone. Add a pandemic into the mix and "stressful" doesn’t seem to cover it. 

“I’ve never experienced anything like this, so it was difficult to adjust,” said Toney, “And again, I was more focused on, 'How do I stay safe? I don't want to get this myself or bring it home to my parents who do have underlying conditions.'”

Stories like Toney’s aren’t unique.

According to Jennifer Brannon, Vice President of Student Affairs, mental health problems on campus have increased because of COVID-19.

“The pandemic has added even more to it, and now it's just, it's blatantly obvious that we need to be able to provide our students with access all the time.”

That’s how they university came up with “BeWell@MGA,” a hub that gives students 24/7 access to counselors and mental health resources.

According to a study by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, more than half of college students who participated said they felt “some anxiety” from the pandemic. Close to 21% said they were “very anxious.”

“It's pretty impressive that they're continuing to go to class and try to get their degrees, but there's a lot of concern and scare about the world we're living in right now,“ said Brannon.

Kamryn said just knowing the BeWell program is there allows her to focus on school.

“I feel it takes a load off of me, so if I know that I do get anxious, there's something there that I can go to.”

To learn more about BeWell, go to their website.