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August 2020

August 16-23, 2020 Crisis Response Task Force Weekly Press Round Up

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August 16-23, 2020


A new study from UC Berkeley provides detailed data on the mental health of undergraduate and graduate students during the pandemic (broken down by race/ethnicity, gender, etc.) A new National Urban League report includes its annual Equity Index along with clearly presented summary data on COVID-19 disparities in Black and Latino populations.

New guidelines from the American College Health Association go beyond their previous guidelines and provide detailed discussion of the issues and specific considerations for vulnerable populations including Latino, Black, Asian, Native American and others.

Several articles addressed issues of student behavior related to social distancing, addressing issues of expectations of students, “blaming,” punishing, etc.

Data / Reports

Undergraduate and Graduate Students’ Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic

UC Berkeley, Igor Chirikov, Krista  Soria, Bonnie Horgos, Daniel Jones-White, Aug. 17, 2020

Based on PHQ-2 and GAD-2 screening tools, 35% of undergraduates and 32% of graduate students screened positive for depression, while 39% of undergraduate and graduate students screened positive for anxiety. Depression and anxiety were more pronounced among low-income students; students of color; women and non-binary students; transgender students; gay or lesbian, bisexual, queer, questioning, asexual, and pansexual students; and, students who are caregivers.

Study written up in – Mental health disorders surge among college students returning to campus, survey finds

Sacramento Bee, Katie Camero, August 20, 2020

Example of data: Depression among undergraduates

State of Black America: Unmasked

National Urban League, August 2020

Includes the annual Equality Index and data on COVID-19 disparities – death rates, infection, hospitalization, work from home and insurance for Blacks, whites and Latinos.

Report written up in – COVID-19 is killing over twice as many Black Americans as whites, new report says

Philadelphia Inquirer, Sarah Gantz, August 14, 2020


ACHA Guidelines:  Supporting Vulnerable Campus Populations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

American College Health Association Guideline, August 2020

Supplement to previous guidelines on COVID-19, this document provides considerations for higher ed to support vulnerable populations who are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and the ensuing economic downturn. These populations include African American/Black, Asian American, first generation/low income (FGLI), international, Latinx, LGBTQ+, Native American, and undocumented students, as well as students with disabilities.

College Students Likely To Be More Anxious And Depressed This Semester

Forbes, Stephen M. Gavazzi, August 20, 2020

Taken together, the research findings about typical young adult activities — combined with the data on negative mental health trajectories experienced by college students during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic — may point to even greater problems ahead

‘Living in my car’? Fall semester online means college students are scrambling for housing, Wi-Fi

USA Today, August 20, 2020

The 22-university consortium that makes up the Cal State system has already committed to eliminating equity gaps, including the digital divide, by graduation 2025.  The administration at CSUSB “saved my life in so many aspects,” said Moran — providing her with internet, a place to stay, disability accommodations and mental health support. Still, some students and professors say the university system can only go so far in providing support.

How college athletic programs are tackling mental health amid Covid-19

Buffalo News, Rachel Lenzi, Aug 23, 2020

College athletic programs have been putting tools in place to help athletes and coaches since March, when the NCAA announced it had canceled all winter and spring sports championships.

Underrepresented In Faculty Jobs: Part of the Problem is Racism Against Black Faculty and Students

Diverse Issue in Higher Ed, Nathan Hardy, August 19, 2020

Recent protests have raised awareness about how racial discrimination has caused Blacks to be underrepresented in a number of occupations, including faculty positions.  This problem has persisted for generations and its origins stem in part from racism.

Pitt Introduces Mandatory Anti-Racism Course for Freshmen

Diverse Issues in Higher Ed, Sarah Wood

Starting this fall, all incoming freshman will be required to take a one-credit course on anti-racism.

The Student Blaming Has Begun

Chronicle of Higher Ed, Katherine Mangan, AUGUST 21, 2020

Julia L. Marcus, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School, “What’s happening on college campuses is a microcosm of what’s happening in this country, which is a deflection of responsibility from the top down to the individual.”

Mental Health

What Do We Actually Know About the Effects of COVID-19 on Mental Health?

Jed Foundation, SARA GORMAN, August 20, 2020

General overview and tips for supporting teens.

Pandemic Increasing Suicidal Ideation

Inside Higher Ed, Madeline St. Amour, August 17, 2020

(Reporting based on the recent CDC MMWR report.) One in four people aged 18 to 24 seriously contemplated suicide in June.

Teens Across the Country Share Their Mental Health Struggles During COVID-19

People, By Claudia Harmata August 19, 2020

Courageous teens from across the United States are candidly opening up about their mental health in a new nationwide campaign to break down stigmas surrounding mental illness. Earlier this year, WETA launched Well Beings, a national public campaign to destigmatize mental health concerns through storytelling, with a focus on youth mental health and well-being.


A Review of Multiple Analyses Documents Persistent Racial Disparities in COVID-19

Kaiser Family Foundation, August 17, 2020

People of color are bearing a disproportionate burden of COVID-19 cases, deaths, and hospitalizations, and they may face increased barriers to access testing. Other analyses also suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic is taking a larger economic toll on people of color.

COVID-19 Deaths Skew Younger Among Minorities

WSJ, Paul Overberg and Jon Kamp, Aug. 17, 2020

Coronavirus infections take a heavy toll on Latino people in their prime working years, data show.

Employment / Workplace

A Pandemic Silver Lining? Reimagined Career Services For Students

Forbes, Alison Griffin, August 17, 2020

[particular focus on students of color]  In response, we have seen an increase in the development of micro-internships, co-op programs, and startups making work-based learning available at unprecedented scale. Taken together, each of these approaches allows higher education to be more responsive to the diverse needs of students graduating into an increasingly complex and challenging labor market.

The enterprise needs to prepare now for a COVID-19 mental health crisis

Diginomica, Derek du Preez  August 17, 2020

Workplaces need to get better at creating a culture that considers how employees’ mental health impacts performance, particularly in the wake of COVID-19.The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the workplace is going to be far-reaching and long-lasting. One area that needs special attention now – and is often overlooked – is how the enterprise can help to counter the likely forthcoming mental health crisis.

CAA Scholars Initiative To Provide Scholarships And Mentorships To Diverse Students

Deadline, Dino-Ray Ramos, August 17, 2020

In an effort to bolster its commitment to equity and creating systemic social change in the film and TV industry, Creative Artists Agency has launched announced CAA Scholars. The new signature initiative supported by the CAA Foundation Community Fund (CFCF) provides multi-year scholarships, fellowships, year-round programming, and mentorship to a diverse group of students attending college, university, or trade institute/programs.

Upcoming Event

A Conversation on Student Success: Equity and Success for Online Community College Students

Start Date: September 01, 2020 at 01:00 p.m. ET • 60m

Susan Barbitta, executive director of NC Student Success Center, and Lisa Chapman, president of Central Carolina Community College, will join Sherri Hughes, assistant vice president of professional learning at ACE, to discuss how North Carolina community colleges are meeting the urgent need for best practices in online teaching and strategies for achieving student equity during a time of uncertainty and disruption. This webinar is part of ACE and ACUE’s Conversations on Student Success series.

This information was curated and analyzed by Debbie Cohen.

DOWNLOAD COVID 19 Task Force Report August 9-16, 2020

August 9-16, 2020 Crisis Response Task Force Weekly Press Round Up

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August 9 – 16, 2020


New CDC data shows a continuing upward trend in depression and anxiety among Americans, with young adults and POC especially impacted. A new report from OECD finds teens/young adults are most worried about mental health effects of the pandemic.  A new US student survey finds many students still undecided and increasing concern about attending in-person (greater concern among SOC). An opinion piece in The Hechinger Report by Ted Mitchel, President of ACE, warns of huge setbacks for first generation and minority students.

Data / Reports

COVID-19: This is what worries young people the most

World Economic Forum, Alex Thornton, August 10, 2020

Global survey of teens/young adults by OECD found –

– 15- to 24-year-olds worry most about the pandemic’s effect on their mental health.

– Young people in poorer countries are more likely to be concerned about jobs and income.

– Getting sick from the virus is low on the list of concerns

Charted: The coronavirus’ staggering toll on America’s mental health

Advisory Board, August 14, 2020

Highlights a new CDC MMWR report on the pandemic and mental health and the latest CDC Household Pulse Survey report (July 21) including disproportionate impact on young adults and POC.

– Among adults 18 to 24, more than half reported depression, just under half reported anxiety disorder, and more than 1 in 4 reported considering suicide within the preceding 30 days.

– More than a third of Hispanics and just under a quarter of Blacks had experienced symptoms of depression or anxiety

– About 20% of Hispanics and 15% of Blacks had considered suicide in the past month

Nervous Freshmen, Nervous Colleges

Inside Higher Ed, Scott Jaschik , August 10, 2020

A SimpsonScarborough Survey finds that 40 percent of incoming freshmen at four-year colleges are likely or highly likely not to attend. Minority students are more likely to be “very worried” about contracting COVID-19 on campus than are white students (34 percent of students of color are very worried compared to 21 percent of white, non-Hispanic students). Campuses may be less diverse as a result. 28% of minority students say they are not returning to campus for in-person instruction, compared to 16 percent of white, non-Hispanic students.

Also covered in The Ground Is Shifting For Colleges And Students As Covid-19 Spikes

Forbes, Lucie Lopovsky, August 13, 2020

Americans concerned about schools reopening, returning to ‘normal life’

Ipsos/Axios, August 11, 2020

New Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index finds:

– Half of Americans (50%) report knowing someone who has tested positive. This has climbed from 4% in mid-March when we started this index.

– One in five (21%) know someone who died, of those, 42% lost a family member or close friend


OPINION: The Biggest Danger to U.S. Higher Education? Losing 20 Years’ Worth of Gains in Access for First-generation and Minority Students

The Hechinger Report, Ted Mitchel (Pres. ACE) Aug. 11, 2020

The biggest danger that higher education faces as a sector, though, is the loss of gains that we have made over the past 20 years in access to a college education — with all of the accompanying benefits to individuals and our entire society — for first-generation and minority students.

Looking for an In-Person Experience

Inside Higher Ed, Lilah Burke , August 12, 2020

Students are still in favor of an in-person fall, but 56% of college students believe the education offered this fall will be less valuable than last fall. Workers who saw their work disrupted are interested in higher education, but only 44 % believe they can access the education/training they want.

Emerging Trends Could Threaten Equitable Outcomes For Marginalized Students

National Association of Colleges and Employers, August 10, 2020

Matthew Cowley warns that emerging best practice trends could potentially threaten equitable outcomes for marginalized students. He cites artificial intelligence that is increasingly used in college recruiting as an example. Facial recognition “technology is vulnerable to bias against women and people of color if it is not adequately trained.”

College move-in will be lonelier and weirder than ever this year

Bloomberg, Janet Lorin, August 14, 2020

College plans are varied and still changing.

Report: Higher Ed Presidents Focused on Managing COVID-19 and Confronting Injustice

Diverse Issues in Higher Education, Pearl Stewart, August 13, 2020

College and university presidents preparing for the upcoming school year amid COVID-19 are focused on maintaining academic programs and current tuition levels, cutting staff and administrative positions, and addressing issues of racial injustice, according to a national survey conducted by a leading higher education organization.

Study reveals one in four international college students seek mental health support due to stress.

The Jed Foundation (news release), August 11, 2020

The study, “Using Technology to Access Mental Health Support Services for International Students Attending American Colleges and Universities,” is a partnership between The Jed Foundation’s JED Campus Program and Morneau Shepell that examined how using technology to access mental health support services might benefit international students.

Keeping low-income college students from going hungry

The Hill, Melissa Laska And Sheila Fleischhacker, August 11, 2020

This pandemic has further intensified this food insecurity and poses significant challenges as colleges plan to reopen this fall. This summer the U.S. BLS reported the unemployment rate among 20 to 24 year-olds jumped from 9 percent to 26 percent, making it one of the hardest hit age groups.

College/Teen Mental Health

Coronavirus Might Worsen The College Mental Health Crisis: Can Apps Help?

Forbes, Jessica Gold, August 13, 2020

Students waiting for help are likely to be directed off-campus for care and also to the campus website for mobile apps to help with their stress, anxiety, and depression in the interim. The issue is, however, that most of their app recommendations are not good ones.

I can’t afford tuition’: College students face financial strains, health concerns from pandemic ahead of fall semester

USA Today, Jessica Menton, August 10, 2020

Covers stories of students’ struggles and concerns, parents concerns, potential drop in enrollment and more.

Turning Anger Into Action: Minority Students Analyze COVID Data on Racial Disparities

Kaiser Health News, Esther, August 13, 2020

Resiliency Training Improves College Students’ Mental Health

Psych Central, Traci Pedersen, Aug 14 2020

The researchers looked at three classroom-based wellness training programs that incorporated breathing and emotional intelligence strategies. They found that two programs led to improvements in aspects of wellbeing with the most effective program leading to improvements in six areas, including depression and social connectedness

Original study:  Promoting Mental Health and Psychological Thriving in University Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Three Well-Being Interventions, Front Psychiatry, July 2020

Fewer Black teens seek treatment for depression, mental health issues than White counterparts

Washington Post, Rebecca Klisz-Hulbert, August 15, 2020

References:  Perceived Mental Healthcare Barriers and Health-seeking Behavior of African-American Caregivers of Adolescents with Mental Health Disorders. Nneka Jon-Ubabuco , &Jane Dimmitt Champion Pages 585-592 | Published online: 27 Mar 2019

It’s Time To Invest In Better Health And Well-Being For Teens

Health Affairs, Benjamin F. Miller and Denise Dougherty, JULY 30, 2020 

“Teens today are facing a myriad of challenges – many unique to their generation – and we are not doing enough to support teens. In the research, our funding, and our policy priorities, we ignore or discount the adolescent years too often.” Points to recommendations in Advancing Teen Flourishing: Moving Policy Upstream, from Well Being Trust.

Mental Health

Black psychiatrists are few. They’ve never been more needed.

Washington Post, Courtland Milloy, August 11, 2020

Interview with psychiatrist William Lawson, MD. Of the estimated 41,000 psychiatrists in the country, only two percent are Black, according to the American Psychiatric Association.

‘Fear is a primary driver’: Study details pandemic’s psychological impact on Americans

Yahoo Finance, Adriana Belmonte, August 12, 2020

Reporting based on large survey study completed in March.

Bereaved Families Are ‘the Secondary Victims of COVID-19’

Kaiser Health News, Judith Graham August 12, 2020

New research suggests for every person who dies of COVID-19, nine close family members are affected. Black families will lose slightly more close family members than white families, aggravating the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on African American communities. “OVID-19 bereavement has the potential to lower educational achievement among youth, disrupt marriages, and lead to poorer physical and mental health.”

The study: Tracking the reach of COVID-19 kin loss with a bereavement multiplier applied to the United States. PNAS July 28, 2020 117 (30) 17695-17701

Michelle Obama Reveals COVID-19 Also Affects Her Mental Health

Hep Treatment News, Alicia Green, August 11, 2020

COVID-19 doesn’t only affect people physically. The illness is also devastating to individuals’ mental and emotional health. Former first lady Michelle Obama recently revealed that she has been experiencing low-grade depression due to the pandemic, People reports.

The Importance of Mental Health Awareness in the Black Community, AUGUST 10, 2020

Once I learned about anxiety, I began to understand myself in a new way. I was able to understand and piece together how my childhood factored into my adult struggles . . . And I was able to realize how racism, oppression, trauma, and fear factor into my everyday experience as a Black woman in America.


How people of color can identify mentors on Wall Street and progress their careers, according to a Black JP Morgan VP

Business Insider, Reed Alexander, August 11, 2020

Meade shared a few tips with Business Insider for how young people of color in finance can identify a mentor at work and use that bond to advance career.

Older/Supporting Statistics

Special Report:  A Defining Moment for Racial Equity 

The Chronicle of Philanthropy, June 30, 2020

A series of articles looking at:  Will nonprofits and foundations seize the momentum and move toward racial equity?

Report: Less than half of black students feel adequate mental health support from teachers, counselors

Education Dive, Shawna De La Rosa, March 11, 2020

Though 25% of American teens experience mental health issues, rural students and students of color are less likely to feel that they can reach out to a counselor or teacher for support, according to the ACT Center for Equity in Learning’s “Supporting the Mental Health Well-Being of High School Students” survey.

Issue Brief: Mental Health and Girls of Color,  Kimberlyn Leary, Ph.D.

Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality, 2019

– Women and girls of color, in particular, face unique stressors that are compounded by the intersection of race and gender identities. Negative experiences rooted in racism, discrimination, and sexism often remain unacknowledged as sources of distress.(2)

– “Children of color, like adults of color, have the highest rates of unaddressed mental health needs, but they are less likely to receive mental health care, whether because they do not seek services when those services are inaccessible or stigmatized, or because their needs are unrecognized by providers.” (2)

Vanessa Sacks & David Murphy, The Prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences, Nationally, By State, and By Race or Ethnicity, Child Trends (Feb. 20, 2018), (cited n : Issue Brief: Mental Health and Girls of Color,  Kimberlyn Leary, Ph.D. Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality, 2019)

Children of color have substantially higher rates of adverse childhood experiences than their white peers, which can significantly impact physical and mental health, as well as educational and economic outcomes.

Lyndonna Marrast, David U. Himmelstein & Steffie Woolhandler, Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Mental Health Care for Children and Young Adults: A National Study, 46 Int’l J. of Health Serv. 810 (2016). (cited in: Issue Brief: Mental Health and Girls of Color,  Kimberlyn Leary, Ph.D.
Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality, 2019)

– African-American and Hispanic children visited a mental health professional half as often as white children in 2016.(4)

– Primary care providers may fail to recognize the signs of distress in children of color or offer referrals.(4)

Kessler, RC, et al. Age of onset of mental disorders: A review of recent literature. Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2007 Jul; 20(4): 359–364.

About half of all mental disorders begin by the mid-teens

Mojtabai, R, Olfson, M. National Trends in Mental Health Care for US Adolescents. JAMA Psychiatry. 2020;77(7):703-714. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.0279

The rate of mental treatment or counseling among teen girls rose from an average of 22.8% in 2005-2006 to 25.4% in 2017-2018, an 11.4% increase, while the rate among boys fell from 17.8% to 16.4%, a 7.9% decrease. (6)

Adolescent Mental Health Service Use And Reasons For Using Services In Specialty, Educational, And General Medical Settings

SAMHSA, Rachel N. Lipari, Ph.D., Sarra Hedden, Ph.D., Gary Blau, Ph.D., and Lisa Rubenstein, MHA, 2016

Asian adolescents were less likely than adolescents of most other races/ethnicities to receive mental health services regardless of the mental health services setting

Supportive Peer Relationships and Mental Health in Adolescence: An Integrative Review

Issues Ment Health Nurs.Ashley Roach. 2018 Sep;39(9):723-737. doi: 10.1080/01612840.2018.1496498.

Kathleen Ries Merikangas, et al.  Lifetime Prevalence of Mental Disorders in US Adolescents: Results from the National Comorbidity Study-Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A)J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2010 Oct; 49(10): 980–989.  doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2010.05.017

Detailed table of lifetime prevalence by disorders for teens 13-18, males and females, chart:

The lifetime prevalence for any mental disorder was 51% for females and 48% for males.

SAMHSA, Behavioral Health Barometer, US, Volume 5, 2019 (2017 data)

This information was curated and analyzed by Debbie Cohen.

DOWNLOAD: COVID 19 Task Force Report August 9-16, 2020

Our Mission: Promoting the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color