WEST VIRGINIA, (WVNS) — In August of 2020, the First Choice Services launched a free emotional strength line to help students who are struggling because of the pandemic. Since COVID-19 was declared a natural disaster, FEMA provided the money for this hotline.
A recent survey done by the Inside Higher Ed and College Pulse showed 65-percent of students reported having fair or poor mental health issues. Sixty three-percent rated their college’s student mental health and wellness services a ‘C’ or lower. Sheila Moran is the Director of Marketing for First Choice Services.
“Even in the era of social media, that’s what we are seeing. A lot of people who are calling our hotlines are telling us that they are feeling alone now more than ever. So we think this group would be a good way for them to connect with each other or talk to other people who are going through the same things they are,” Moran said.
Moran said any student who attends any college can call the hotline. Due to the growing number of students reaching out, First Choice Services added a free weekly support group.
“The sessions that are the support groups are going to be every Thursday at 6 p.m. And all they have to do is call us so we can get their information and then we are going to send them the link to join us,” Maron said.
A program for students with one goal in mind.
“Our goal is to continued to provide emotional support service for anyone in West Virginia,” Maron said.
The first zoom session will be Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 6 p.m. People who attend the group sessions can choose to be anonymous. Call 1-877-HELP-304 to find out more or visit their website.