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Hailey Clubine February 8, 2021

“If we focus as much as our physical as we do our mental health, we’d be a lot better off because our body and mind are connected.” according to Rebekah Lauritzen, a DMACC Counselor.

Mental Health is a prevalent concern in today’s world. Now more than ever, the importance of emotional stability and all around non-physical well-being is being pushed up the ladder to be just as important as physical health. A lot of people have struggled with mental health, and a lot of people still do on a regular basis. It’s not an uncommon or undiscussed problem anymore.

Banner News sent out a survey last semester to try and see how students were coping with online courses, and how their mental health might have fluctuated over the semester. We received 66 answers to our survey.

Of those who answered, 57.58% didn’t feel engaged with their classes as much as they would in person. Online classes are difficult to form a relationship between teacher and student, or form student to another student. A majority of students, 74.24%, were also more partial to taking virtual classes rather than strictly online courses with set meeting times to mimic in-class discussions.

Would students continue to take online classes when in-person classes begin again? Almost 54% said that they would not, but there was still a quite even amount between the two answers. Learning in all forms is important to experience and find out what works best for the student, sometimes online methods just don’t work.

Drinking coffee and energy drinks can be the main motivation to get through a day, but it can also be very unwise when consumed in copious amounts. Roughly 56% of the respondents answered that they thought they were consuming a bit too much caffeine, which was a larger percent than those who didn’t.

An even 30% of the respondents also said that they have consumed substances to relax and destress. Juggling classwork, home responsibilities, and often a job can be extremely stressful. Time management is a key factor to have in that case, but days can be stressful no matter how specifically scheduled they are. People de-stress in different ways.

Overall, mental health is always something that should be thought of, especially when schoolwork changes the format from something tried and true to something completely different. Online courses are tough, and many students would agree. It is important to get homework done and turned in in time, but also important to take time aside from classwork to relax and de-stress.

“In my field I work with students, I pretty much really encourage us to not do phone sessions and for us to do at least a virtual connection. Part of being a therapist is half of it is listening to, you know, the verbal side of it, but the other half is reading the nonverbal,” Rebekah said.

If you’d like to set up a meeting with Rebekah, you can reach her through email at or via phone at 515-635-1210.

See the following links on the findings of a mental health survey and general statistics:

A link for how to help a friend:

A link to a survey to gauge the standing of your mental health: