Let's face it: being a college student, even in normal times, is not easy. The experience of living on campus, keeping up your grades, and transitioning to becoming an adult can be a stressful one.
But throw into the mix a global pandemic that could shutdown a campus and the uncertainty that hangs over everyday life and, well, it's really not easy to be a college student.
Students are contending with distance learning and avoiding getting sick during this time. So that presents SUNY officials with a challenge: How do they reach students dealing with mental health problems.
The State University of New York is dealing with the challenge of instructing students amid a pandemic, but also making sure their mental health is being kept in check as well.
"There's been a lot of conversation around the state of New York and the nation about students' overall wellbeing," said John Graham, the top student affairs official in the SUNY system. "How are they faring as individuals and how are they coping with the experience of college?
SUNY officials are rolling out an app at all 64 campuses this week called Thriving Campus meant to make those connections to mental health services and programs a lot easier.
"SUNY does not want students to be unheard and unnoticed," Graham said. "That is not what we want. We want our students to be self-aware, we want our students to talk to their peers. Peer to peer - that's the shortest chasm between students."
This is being cheered by mental health advocates like Glenn Liebman of the Mental Health Association of New York. But he added there's even more that can be done.
There will be aftershocks once the pandemic subsides for peoples' mental health that will likely need broad investments, he said.
"We have to be talking about self-care not only of the students, but the professors, the administrators," Liebman said. "Everyone who is involved in the SUNY system, because that has a mental health impact to them as well."