Since the pandemic mental health has become a rising concern on college campuses nationwide.


National data shows that college students experienced higher rates of anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts in 2020 than 2019. The CDC reports 63 percent of students 18 to 24 dealt with anxiety and depression, specifically due to the pandemic. Additionally, 25 percent of them reported having suicidal thoughts.

Concordia University isn’t immune to the problem. The CUW Counseling Center saw a 23 percent increase in requests in 2020-21, compared to 2019-20. So far this year, the request load has remained higher than in the 2019-20 academic year as well.

As a direct response, the university has piloted a new service for students: life coaching.

Spectrum News coverage

Spectrum News reporter Megan Carpenter visited campus recently to report on the new program. The university is the first college in the state to offer a coaching program as part of its repertoire of student services.

“Some of our students are not really looking for a counselor,” life coach coordinator Kari Metts told Spectrum. “They’re looking for someone who is a life coach.”

The coaching model is not specifically designed for individuals that need mental health counseling, explains Metts. Instead, life coaches are a type of wellness professional who can help students make progress in their lives through strategies such as goal setting, accountability, and confronting cognitive distortions.

Click below to watch the segment on Spectrum News.

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