Liberty counseling takes on Covid-19 mental health challenges

Amelia Nored, News Editor

In this period of online school and social isolation, the mental health of students has become a more prominent concern. One way Liberty has addressed this issue is by making counseling easily accessible to students who might need it. Counselors are now holding open Zoom calls weekly for students to visit, receive help, or just say hello.

These calls occur on Wednesdays from 1-2 PM and Thursdays from 3-4 PM. Under each counselor’s name on the homepage of the Liberty counseling website, there is a link to a Zoom call where the counselor can be reached during these time frames. Students do not have to contact counselors ahead of time for this unless they have a problem that will take more than a few minutes to discuss. 

“We created open Zoom hours so students know they can drop in and talk privately about whatever is on their minds,” counselor Laurel Shane said. “This could be answering college application questions for a senior or helping a student who has been struggling to keep up with homework or adjust to remote learning. It really is for any student who wants to get support from their counselor.”

The Liberty counselors hope that open Zoom calls will provide a more suitable option for students who prefer to express their concerns verbally. 

“For some students, emailing or writing out their questions and concerns simply doesn’t work. These students now have the option to drop into a Zoom and talk to their counselor, just as though they were dropping into our office at school,” counselor Robin Klym said.

On top of open Zoom calls, the Liberty counselors have been updating their website with new and helpful information for students.

“Currently, the front page is highlighting college application information, drop-in Zooms, and the latest counseling newsletter. As the year moves forward, we will highlight different topics on the front page and update the website’s content,” Klym said.  “The counseling website also has enrollment information for new families, Running Start information, college and career planning, course selection information, and many helpful resources for students and families on topics such as anxiety, grief, academic planning, and dealing with the pandemic.”

While the Liberty counseling department has adapted well to this change, the counselors are waiting for the day that students can return to in-person school.

“We just miss getting to connect with our students and have real conversations,” Klym said. “I am so thankful for Zoom because it is definitely better than nothing, but I am excited for the day we get the green light to return.”