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

Download the Equity In Mental Health Framework

Download the Equity In Mental Health Framework

A Framework of Recommendations for Colleges and Universities to Support the Mental Health of Students of Color. Now with toolkit.

About The Steve Fund

The Steve Fund is dedicated to the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color. Right at this moment, there are students of color who are failing academically, suffering emotionally and/OR in some cases are facing serious risk, because population-specific factors influencing mental health are too poorly understood and not acted upon. We are taking action. Learn more.

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People have often wondered why Black History Month is in February, the shortest month of the year. Apparently, this month was chosen in honor of Frederick Douglass, whose birthday is

People have often wondered why Black History Month is in February, the shortest month of the year. Apparently, this month was chosen in honor of Frederick Douglass, whose birthday is

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