State to invest $2M to help college students deal with mental health issues brought on by pandemic

Gov. Ned Lamont announced new measures Wednesday to help students on Connecticut college campuses deal with what experts are calling a mental health crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lamont says there's a mental health pandemic hot on the heels of COVID-19. The state is now investing more than $2 million to help college students fight it.
Students at the University of New Haven say college is already a stressful time of academic expectations, change and self-discovery.
They say the isolation of the pandemic has only increased stress, suicidal thoughts and substance abuse and only 15% of students take advantage of on-campus counseling.
Lamont says the $2.3 million in federal aid will help universities give students the tools they need to help themselves.
"To bring in counselors, to bring in coaches. I was saying I, as a young person, maybe some stigma about going to a therapist, but I always had a coach. And I think what people sometimes need is a trained supervision, sometimes they need a coach, sometimes they need a teacher, sometimes they need a friend," said Lamont.
Lamont says calls to the state's 211 mental health hotline have climbed steadily since the pandemic began.
U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy this week said children and young adults were facing a mental health crisis before the pandemic and COVID-19 has only exacerbated things.