BALTIMORE (WJZ) — College health professionals are monitoring a growing crisis among young adults struggling with mental health problems amid the coronavirus.

In response to the growing need for mental health services for students, Loyola University Maryland has expanded its resources online.

For many college students, navigating schoolwork from home during a global pandemic has been difficult to say the least.

“I absolutely miss being on campus,” student Katie Shoemaker said.

Shoemaker, a senior, and her peers have spent their first months and years building a community on campus unlike that at home. The pandemic has changed that.

“I think everyone can agree no matter what college you’re at, what year, that you’ve missed those day-to-day interactions on campus,” she said.

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Since many returned home in March, a number of students have experienced a sense of disconnect.

“There was a study that was just completed, a national study that showed that college students, 80% of them are reporting having really high levels of anxiety at this time,” Jason Parcover, the director of the university’s counseling center, said.

That’s why the university is prioritizing the need to provide students with additional remote-based mental health support.

The program, called Togetherall, is a 24/7 online peer-to-peer mental health community moderated by professionals.

“I do think that being able to work through our painful feelings, our fears, our anxiety, our worries as we’re experiencing them is really important,” Parcover said.

Through the online anonymous community, students can log in and support others who are sharing similar experiences and thoughts. Students like Shoemaker said they’re thankful for the crucial tool that helps provide a sense of belonging and a safe space to express themselves.

“All it takes is one person to say you’re not alone, I’m here too,” she said.

To learn more about campus mental health resources, click here.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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