Artwork by Oscar Ramirez (BFA Painting + Drawing 2021).

Concerned about your mental health and wellness during the COVID–19 pandemic? CCA counselors can help.

Finding balance and remaining well will “take time and iteration, not unlike the art and design process.”

In-person meetings are on pause at CCA due to COVID–19 containment efforts, but our counselors stand ready to offer support to students experiencing distress or anxiety, especially to those with family and friends affected in other areas of the world.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty right now for us all,” says Dr. Leah Oliver, co-coordinator of Counseling Services, about the unfolding COVID–19 pandemic. “This is all happening in a collective experience, both globally and institutionally.”

The pandemic represents a devastating blow to not only the global economy and global health care systems, but to the mental well-being of many. Recognizing this, CCA’s counselors have worked diligently to ensure that students have continued access to critical mental health services.

During the campus closure, Counseling Services has offered consultations and referrals. On April 3, the department launched its new Tele-Mental-Health Services to better meet the needs of students while they aren’t on campus. Initially, the service will only be available to students in California.

Students across the country are adjusting to the new realities of sheltering in place and going to class online. “We’re thinking about how we’re coping, responding and feeling pressure to know what to do and how to handle this situation,” Oliver says.

One way to alleviate some of that pressure is to recognize our own humanity, says Dr. Brigette Stump-Vernon, co-coordinator of Counseling Services.

“We are feeling pressure to find a way to be more productive in the ways that we were before this pandemic,” Stump-Vernon says. “At times such as these, our typical day may not be possible or accessible, and we are all working to find a new routine. This process will take time and iteration, not unlike the art and design process.”

It also helps, she says, to accept that our myriad reactions are natural: “Our bodies, minds, and emotions are understandably in survival response mode right now. This [reaction] is important, but we can also work to balance that with care, compassion, and gratitude when we can.”

“Something to consider is how we can work to be okay with the discomfort of now,” Oliver adds. “I think of the analogy, the image of a pendulum swinging back and forth. And right now, we’re working to find footing in a new middle ground.”

CCA's Counseling Services are here to help

Portrait of Dr. Brigette Adair Stump-Vernon

Dr. Brigette Adair Stump-Vernon

Senior Staff Psychologist, Student Affairs

+1 510-594-3675

Portrait of Dr. Leah Oliver

Dr. Leah Oliver

Staff Psychologist, Student Affairs

+1 510-594-3675