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Article
Author(s)

Joseph B. Cuseo, Simone Figueroa

Affiliation(s)

Marymount California University, California, USA; U-Thrive Educational Services, New Jersey, USA

ABSTRACT

More than one-half of college students today report experiencing emotional distress and their distress rates have been increasing throughout the past decade. The COVID-19 crisis is further elevating students’ stress levels by increasing their sense of social isolation and restricting their access to usual sources of social and emotional support. These developments underscore the need for universities to enhance students’ emotional preparedness via campus-initiated outreach programs that deliver mental health and wellness education to incoming students. A growing body of scholarship points to the efficacy of three self-regulatory tools students can use to bolster their emotional and psychosocial capacity to thrive in college: (1) positive psychology, (2) mindfulness, and (3) self-compassion. The extensive body of research cited in this article strongly suggests that these tools can alleviate the growing mental health challenge on university campuses. If these practices are combined into an integrated tool set and delivered to students via engaging, interactive educational modules that are experienced by most or all of the entering class, they have the potential to exert a systemic and synergistic effect on student’ emotional wellbeing and university success—during COVID and beyond.

KEYWORDS

 positive psychology, mindfulness, self-compassion, university success, mental health

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