The Invisible Burden: College Students’ Perspectives on Stress and Mental Health.

Rosmery Sicilia, Suffolk University Zihan Ma, Suffolk University Briana DiMartino, Suffolk University Jiyun Lim, Suffolk University Yanxi Liu, B.S. Psychology, Suffolk University Sukanya Ray, Ph.D., Suffolk University

This panel presentation aims to address stresses that students experience in higher education today. Past literature has indicated various stressors such as academic demand, financial pressure, Interpersonal conflict, lack of a supportive mentor, and community are determinants of mental health issues among students. Beiter et al. (2015; Huang et al., 2016 & Huang, Xu, & Liu, 2020), ).

The current outbreak of COVID-19 has heightened these stresses among students both in the USA and abroad. This has a significant adverse impact on international students, particularly from Asian countries. These issues are closely linked with preexisting racial tensions including projection of fear, uncertainty, and blame towards target minorities.

The authors will cover relevant empirical studies to focus on determinants of stresses and coping strategies among students across different cultural, familial, and SES backgrounds. This session intends to share information about available resources and support that can act as a buffer against mental health disorders among students.

Presenters will highlight the roles of educators, counselors, and other institutional support in facilitating stress reduction, academic success, and well-being of students.

Finally, this session will engage the audience to examine a wide range of challenges presented now due to COVID-19, which needs creative strategies for prevention, and treatment of stress-related mental health problems among students. Moreover, the discussion will focus on collective approaches among educators, administrators, counselors, peers, and digital platforms that need to be used to promote a better academic climate and health of students.


Rosemery Sicilia

Suffolk University

Zihan Ma

Suffolk University

Briana DiMartino

Suffolk University

Jiyun Lim

Suffolk University

Yanxi Liu

B.S. Psychology
Suffolk University

Sukanya Ray, PhD

Suffolk University