Mental Health Resources for BFA Students

Jose Luis Navarro

Photo credit:

Ashley Seymour, Writer

It all started on March 13, 2020, when Governor Phil Scott declared a state of emergency to prevent Covid-19 from Vermont residents. Here we are over a year later with Covid-19 affecting some people not only physically, but mentally, specifically students.

Because of school closures and social restrictions, students have not only had to handle the stress of getting sick, but have also needed to maintain their mental health during these times of uncertainty.

One resource available to students to help maintain their mental health is joining the “Well Minded” group here at BFA. Starting last year before Covid-19, this group began by the school-based clinician, Marissa Mcfadden, and school social worker, Ashlie Olio. 

According to Olio, they came up with the idea for this group because they “wanted to create a safe space and an outlet for students to come together to learn about what they’re experiencing, and hopefully give them some tools,” to deal with their stress and anxiety.

This group is also where students are able to “talk about skills to handle stress and anxiety, what stress and anxiety actually [are]… [and is] just [a place for] talking about what influences… [and] how to manage our stress and anxiety, where and how it comes up for us in our lives. Students would share how it affected them at home and at school, and maybe even certain events in their lives,” Olio added.

The “Well Minded” group meets every Wednesday on Zoom from 9:30-10:30 am.

Not only can you join this group, but you can also access a “Mental Wellness Resources & Activities” website, which includes the NCSS Crisis Hotline, a Crisis Text Hotline, which both provide free 24/7 crisis support. The website also includes the National Alliance on Mental Health, which is a helpline and support group with access to educational resources on mental health and a “Warmline” used to give people support when they need to talk to someone.