Following fall mental health research, Cornell introduced additional efforts to address long-standing student mental health concerns — eliminating weekend prelims and gathering more student feedback, the University announced in a Tuesday email.
The update follows a year-long, pre-COVID mental health report released in October, which found widespread issues in Cornell’s academic and social environments.
Top administrators Lisa Nishii, Ryan Lombardi, Sharon McMullen and Kathryn Boor said in the email that addressing student mental health requires changing campus culture itself. The administrators added that reforming campus culture will require an active effort at every level, from University policies to individual interactions.
“Changing culture takes time and patience, but we are committed to staying the course to reach our goals set forth from the review,” the email read. “As we navigate the many challenges currently facing our campus and around the world, we must recognize their impact on mental health and well-being.”
The University emphasized the need to confront the underlying factors that contribute to depression, stress and anxiety at Cornell, noting that certain student groups — including students from historically marginalized identities — may be more vulnerable.
As part of these efforts to change campus culture, the administration created a webpage, called “Bright Spots,” to document actions that support mental health around campus. Cornell community members can submit their “bright spots” through an online form.
The University highlighted resources that struggling students can turn to for advice on how to cope during the pandemic and maintain a healthy work-life balance. The statement also included a list of 24/7 hotlines and text lines. Students with mental health concerns can also schedule a telehealth appointment with Counseling and Psychological Services.