With the intensive nature of courses and high-performance expectations, going off to college for the first time or heading back for another year is enough to send student stress levels soaring. But gi
With the intensive nature of courses and high-performance expectations, going off to college for the first time or heading back for another year is enough to send student stress levels soaring. But given the unknowns of the pandemic, the threat of the extremely contagious Delta variant, and the fact that many states, municipalities, and schools have reduced restrictions while COVID-19 threat levels remain elevated, this could be the most stressful situation college students have ever faced.
In the early summer months of 2021, COVID-19 cases were down, vaccinations were in full swing, and it looked like colleges and universities would essentially be back to business as usual in the fall. However, this didn't last long, and college students have had to adjust their mindsets once again. Entering the fall semester, college students may be struggling with the idea of attending classes in-person or living in campus housing as many safety protocols can go unenforced.
The uncertainty about vaccine effectiveness against the highly contagious Delta variant is another significant source of student stress this semester. As Dr. Daniel Weiss, staff psychiatrist at Talkiatry, explained, “Vaccinated students may have a false sense of security that they are immune to illness, in part, due to prior messaging about the efficacy of vaccines in both preventing transmissions of COVID-19 and severe illness (the latter of which is still accurate in most cases).” He stressed the importance of maintaining a social distance and adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols while on campus due to the heightened risk of transmission of the Delta variant.
A recent study revealed that 95% of college students have experienced negative mental health symptoms due to COVID-19-related circumstances, and almost half (48%) of those students believe these mental health effects have directly impacted their education. In addition, students face increased levels of worry, anxiety, and depressive thoughts from stressors such as fears for their own health and that of their loved ones, disruptions in sleep patterns, and decreased social interactions.
The importance of taking care of physical and mental health has never been greater for college students. If you're currently in college, here are ten strategies you can use to cope with the stress and anxiety you may be feeling due to the pandemic—and the demands of college life in general.
Keeping a consistent routine can give you peace of mind by bringing order and control to some aspects of your life. A daily morning routine ensures that you are starting the day off right, while an evening routine ensures that you are going to bed able to relax, knowing that everything has been taken care of for that day.
When you have a long list of things to do, it can be easy to forget to eat. Suddenly, you realize you haven't eaten all day, so you scarf down a bowl of mac-and-cheese at 10 pm. Instead, make sure you set time aside each day to eat, whether it’s in between classes or while you’re doing homework.
Studies have shown that just 30 minutes of exercise can significantly positively impact your mental health. If you can't make it or aren't going to the gym due to the COVID threat level, take daily walks to help clear your mind.
These substances may ease some of your negative emotions in the short term, but they aren't a healthy means to cope with mental illness. In fact, increasing your consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and recreational substances may exacerbate your mental health conditions.
Having a simple conversation with someone can help lighten your mood and make you feel happier. Unfortunately, we’ve missed many opportunities to interact with friends and family during the pandemic. To maintain your mental health, make social interactions a priority, even if they have to be virtual.
In these times of uncertainty, you can and should set personal boundaries with your peers and educators. Every person has their own beliefs and expectations in regards to social distancing, masking, and other precautionary measures. It’s more than ok to set expectations and create boundaries, but keep in mind it’s essential to respect the boundaries of others as well.
Dr. Daniel Weiss advises students to take advantage of their college’s wellness and medical programs as well as peer-led support groups and activities. These services are typically free and could make a huge difference in your mental health and overall sense of wellbeing.
Take time to appreciate your hard work and reflect on your accomplishments, no matter how big or small they are. For example, did you follow your daily routine every morning and every night for a week? Celebrate your success in a healthy way, like making time for self-care or taking a break to enjoy the sunset or sunrise—as long as it’s something that sparks joy for you. Use the pride you feel from this accomplishment to boost your motivation for the next goal you work on.
Studies show that students who enjoy hobbies are less likely to experience stress, low moods, and depression. So instead of de-stressing by watching TV or snacking mindlessly, try doing an activity that allows you to clear your mind while providing you with a much-needed break from screens.
Surrounding yourself with negative messages—whether it’s from social media, news outlets, or even friends—only hurts your mental health. The importance of staying informed can't be denied, but it is easy to become consumed with all the negativity circulating. Be sure to disconnect from the internet from time to time and avoid any situations that may cause unnecessary stress.
It will take time for the threat of COVID-19 to subside and for universities to return to normal operations. Given the current circumstances, it’s up to you to take action to ensure you have a successful, healthy semester.
Practicing these suggestions can help improve your overall mental health; however, if your symptoms become unmanageable or interfere with your ability to function or enjoy daily life, it may be time to seek professional help.
Talkiatry, an outpatient mental health practice, provides diagnosis and treatment plans for patients (including college students) to help manage COVID-related stress, anxiety disorders, and symptoms, including psychotherapy and medication.
Our affordable, in-network psychiatric care model is tailored to meet all your needs. In addition, we offer flexible telemedicine and in-office appointment options to match our therapeutic and modern approach to psychiatric care.
If you believe you (or your college student) are suffering from unusually high stress or an anxiety disorder as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, please don’t hesitate to seek treatment from a medical professional. Start the process by taking our free and easy assessment to receive a preliminary diagnosis and gain a better understanding of your symptoms. You will then be matched with one of our psychiatrists, who will provide you with a customized treatment plan to help manage your symptoms.
If you're actively searching for psychiatrist jobs, perhaps you're a new graduate on the hunt for your first position out of training, or maybe you’re a seasoned practitioner seeking a change of pace.
If you're actively searching for psychiatrist jobs, perhaps you're a new graduate on the hunt for your first position out of training, or maybe you’re a seasoned practitioner seeking a change of pace. You’ve worked hard to earn your medical degree, completed four or more years of residency, and perhaps even acquired additional expertise in a subspecialty. After all this time and effort, you deserve a role that aligns with your goals and aspirations as a physician.
Due to the current shortage of psychiatrists in the U.S., employment opportunities are plentiful. To find a practice that suits you, your talents, and your needs, you must narrow the scope of your search. The question that arises when confronted with so many psychiatrist jobs is: “Where do I begin?”
Finding your ideal mix of key criteria in a particular role or opportunity is essential to helping you find your most suitable career path. You’ll need to think about much more than location, setting, hours, and compensation. Of course, these variables are important, but the type of practice you work in will primarily depend on two factors: the patient population you wish to serve and the level of acuity.
The patient population describes the group’s demographics, which can be segmented and analyzed in many ways — by race, gender, age, socioeconomic status, substance abuse history, and much more. Thus, you can begin determining your professional path by identifying which patient population you would enjoy treating most.
A patient’s acuity level relates to the frequency and type of contact a patient requires and the scope and intensity of case management you will provide. Understanding what acuity level you're most comfortable with will ensure that you set realistic expectations for yourself, your employer, and your patients.
As with any other profession, psychiatrist job candidates should analyze the details and pinpoint their priorities. Once you have an idea about the patient population and acuity you would like to work with, you’ll want to consider the following points.
What type of practice setting are you interested in? There are many things to consider in selecting the ideal practice setting. For example, consider the clinical community and the colleagues you will work with and the level of collaboration you’ll have with other specialties. Will you have support from therapists and psychologists?
Even if your choice of patient population narrows your choices, these other factors may ultimately influence the practice setting that you choose. As a psychiatrist, you have many choices, such as:
What would be your ideal workday? Figuring out the everyday interactions and activities you're interested in most will help you decide what type of role would fit you best. Other questions you may wish to consider are:
Would you prefer to have more flexibility in your work schedule? Achieving a work-life balance should be a top priority for you to prevent psychiatrist burnout. Flexible work hours and remote working options are practical benefits to seek out. Other factors such as practice setting, role responsibilities, and patient population also contribute to the level of flexibility you'll have.
The culture of a practice is another critical element to take into account. Does the practice have a unique community of like-minded people and shared values? What is the leadership style, and who will you answer to? For example, is the practice physician-led? These factors can all be very influential on how you feel at the end of a busy day.
What type of treatment modality is best for you? Do you hope to work in a practice with in-person or telehealth treatment options, or both? Although there was a great deal of skepticism at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth has proven effective for the right patients and has transformed the online mental health care space. In addition, many psychiatrist jobs in the telemedicine space provide you with the flexibility you may be looking for that you can’t achieve in an in-person setting. Some questions to think about as you’re researching psychiatry jobs are:
What kind of reputation does the practice have? Consider the respectability level of any group you are thinking of joining. For example, do you want to join a healthcare organization or a consumer business? Does a psychiatrist lead the practice? You’ll also want to understand how much assistance the staff has and how well the colleagues connect. Where you work directly reflects your professional image, so it’s essential to understand a potential employer’s reputation before you apply.
How much compensation do you expect? In addition to a competitive salary, benefits such as paid time off, health insurance, and retirement funds are important financial considerations. Dr. Ilisse Perlmutter, Talkiatry’s Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, counsels, “Regardless of how you structure your professional activities, you need to consider benefits and health insurance.” While pay structure is definitely an important aspect to consider, the best pay rate shouldn’t be the only motivator, and the highest salary doesn’t always mean it’s the best compensation package. In addition to identifying with the company's culture and mission, you should also consider their opportunities for learning and growth.
Ensure you know if the role is for an employee (W-2) or a contractor (1099), as the two have significant differences in compensation and employment structure. Lastly, it’s crucial to understand how the compensation is structured—for example, high-quality treatment outcomes are essential, so a compensation structure that rewards volume over quality (such as a productivity model) should be carefully considered.
“As you embark on your search for the right opportunity, make sure you have thought through your priorities and what's most important to you in a position. This is a big commitment! You can't have it all—so decide what concessions you are willing to make, and keep an open mind!”
Jill Steger, Director of Clinical Talent Acquisition, Talkiatry.
Beginning your search for a practice that meets your needs can be overwhelming. However, when you identify your goals and prioritize your key decision factors, you can set a clear vision to guide you through your search for psychiatrist jobs.
Although it doesn’t seem that way in the moment, nothing is etched in stone, and people make changes all the time as their interests, professional, and personal lives evolve. I tell my residents to think about what they love about being psychiatrists, and let that guide them.”
Dr. Ilisse Perlmutter, Talkiatry’s Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Though you may not find your dream role right away, working in an environment that matches your needs and aspirations will keep you motivated, avoid physician burnout, and ultimately lead to achieving your psychiatric career goals.
We’re growing our practice and looking for talented psychiatrists to join our team.
Talkiatry is one of the largest, most innovative groups of in-network psychiatrists in the New York area and is quickly expanding to other states. As a single-specialty practice that was built by psychiatrists, for psychiatrists, Talkiatry knows the unique challenges that this profession faces. A collegial, collaborative workplace, Talkiatry offers a unique sense of camaraderie and shared values. There are also training and research opportunities available for continued professional development.
We take great pride in our talented team of clinicians and work proactively to provide them with the tech-enabled tools, support, and staff they need to deliver the best patient outcomes. Each Talkiatry provider chooses their schedule and work hours, allowing them to curate their ideal work-life balance. Moreover, they are empowered to select their patient populations, ensuring they only treat the types of patients they want to treat.
Our support staff takes care of administrative burdens like billing, insurance, and appointment scheduling so our psychiatrists can focus on patient care. In addition, psychiatrists can track patient progress in new, previously impossible ways using Talkiatry's custom technology solutions and electronic health record system.
Last but not least, our psychiatrists receive top-of-the-market compensation with robust benefits. Talkiatry takes care of you so that you can take care of your patients.
We are solving America’s mental health crisis, one psychiatrist at a time. Learn more about the benefits of working with Talkiatry and view our open psychiatrist jobs here.
Stay up to date with the latest news and trends in mental health care, including Talkiatry’s modern approach to psychiatry.