An online survey conducted by telehealth firm TimelyMD has revealed that most US college students fully support the mask and vaccine mandates being imposed by many universities.
Around 87 percent of students surveyed said they favor mask mandates on-campus, especially amid the growing threat of the highly-contagious Delta variant. Meanwhile, 85 percent said they are okay with colleges requiring students to be vaccinated before attending in-person classes this fall.
The survey also found that five in 10 college students want their campuses to require masks and COVID-19 vaccines before the fall semester.
Regarding vaccinations, 82 percent of respondents revealed that they already received COVID-19 shots or were planning to get vaccinated even before their schools announced the imposition of mask mandates.
Meanwhile, five percent of college students said they sought a vaccine exemption due to medical or religious reasons. Less than one percent also admitted to submitting fake vaccination cards.
Effects of COVID-19 on Mental Health
TimelyMD found that 77 percent of students have been experiencing heightened emotional distress and anxiety levels because of the ongoing health crisis and new COVID-19 variants. Around 60 percent also said they are more stressed and anxious now than they were last year.
To cope with these mental health issues, 72 percent of respondents stated that they intend to seek “some kind of emotional support” from their families, friends, campus counselors, or mental health specialists.
According to the Director of Mental Health Operations at TimelyMD, Seli Fakorzi, the survey results reflect that students are excited to return to campus but are already “feeling burned out” or fear getting infected with the virus.
Half of the respondents agreed that academic institutions should provide more virtual services focused on students’ health and well-being. These services include telehealth and teletherapy.
“We know healthy students are engaged students. Now more than ever, students’ well-being requires colleges and universities to get creative and stay that way — that’s the ‘new normal,’” she explained in a press release.