Many CSULB players cited stress as an issue facing students, faculty, and staff. Causes include: managing both full-time school and work schedules, long commute times, lack of parking, financial obligations, childcare expenses, and on-site childcare hours, as well as broader issues such as “climate crises, displacement, and an unstable employment landscape.”
Player Alfonso Garcia cautions that although stress in an inevitable part of the college experience, he suggests that we take a more hands-on approach to managing stress, which is known to have negative impacts on health.
“As we all know stress is a part of the college experience whether we like it or not. Students on daily deal with enormous amounts of stress so wouldn’t it be smart for CSULB to be proactive and help promote a healthy mental life style amongst its students?”
So what role should the university play to mitigate stress and how might they address this?
Several players offered their suggestions for a stress-free future:
- A coordinated exam schedule (@elaine)
“Having teachers in the same program collaborate with each other so we do not have to take exams on the same day is a great idea and a lot of stress and anxiety would be lifted off students. #BASW #SOCIAL JUSTICE”
- A community garden (@ahlam)
“Community garden! where students and faculty de-stress and the different restaurants on campus use the prodicude!”
- Peaceful study places and relaxation zones (@djulian1118)
“Sustainability and transformation of the urbanization of the area to a more natural and stress-less environment. I would like to be able to have more peaceful study places and relaxation zones.”
- Sleep pods, therapy dogs, and yoga (@alfonso garcia)
“Stress relief would something that excites me about the future. We can have things such as sleep pods or locations where we have therapy dogs on campus most of the time. Even things such as yoga would be helpful with relieving stress.”
- Puppies (@julz) and a Petting Zoo (@mariana)
“YEAR-ROUND access to puppies for levity and stress-relief #mentalhealth” and “We should have a petting zoo on campus. Students could care for the animals and it could be a great way to release stress.”
- Free tuition (@sandra)
“Having free tuition can be an excellent decision that can help student excel and prevent future stress.”
- Mental Health Days or Free Passes (@ Kat Schuster)
“I would like to see student stress levels decline. If you’re enrolled in 5 classes and working, you’re probably not taking care of yourself and your health is suffering. What if we had free passes or mental health days? Maybe students would get 3-5 a year, excluding finals.”
And what other ways might Long Beach students, faculty, and staff find to manage their well-being, stress levels, and mental health in 2030?
Advances in technology point to a future relying heavily on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. In recent one study, it found that AI was “better than humans at predicting outcomes for those at risk of psychosis and depression.” Imagine if in 2030, CSULB offered its members free mental health checks. It could be embedded within school-issued laptops or wearable watches, which would routinely monitor your health, then provide proper interventions and suggest treatment on campus before it’s too late.
Or perhaps, the mental health treatment could take the form of an AI-based chatbot. Services like Woebot have emerged as a smart chatbot, or digital friend, who can track your moods through your text-based messages and offer mental health care based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).