Counselor: Space, Understanding, Structure Can Help COVID-19 Coping | WGLT

Counselor: Space, Understanding, Structure Can Help COVID-19 Coping

Mar 19, 2020

A licensed counselor in Normal is urging parents of college students to actively listen and show understanding to help their children cope with the COVID-19 response that has upended their college life.

Julia Bozarth of Elliott Counseling Service said on The 21st show she's troubled to see some out-of-state parents don't want their kids moving back home.

“We actually have dislocated adult students who are stranded now in Central Illinois and their friends have left. To me these are some of the bigger issues that are local," Bozarth said.

Bozarth said parents need to give their adult children space when they move back home and consider them a resource who can help with technology around the house.

“They can set them up with Netflix or online talk groups or even more information,” she said.

Bozarth said failing to cope with the constant work and lifestyle changes that COVID-19 restrictions have caused can lead to depression for many.

She said it's important to develop a plan and stick to it.

“If you sleep in until 10 a.m. that’s fine, if you sleep in until noon that’s fine too, but what do you do at noon?” Bozarth said. “Structure is very important. What we are watching now with depression specifically is a major change in sleep.”

Bozarth also recommends getting fresh air and exercise and staying connected with friends and family, as long as you continue to practice social distancing.

She suggested this may be a good time to start a journal or take on a project you've been waiting to have time to finish.

Bozarth said Elliott Counseling Services started therapy sessions via video last week.

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