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Boca Raton psychologist warning COVID-19 causing college students to be more at-risk for anxiety and depression

'Life is too short already and you don’t want to chance it'
Posted at 5:53 PM, Sep 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-02 18:43:27-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — September is National Suicide Prevention Month. A Boca Raton psychologist is warning the COVID-19 pandemic is making college students more at-risk for anxiety and depression.

For Alexandra Robbins it’s been six months of difficult decisions.

“Life is too short already and you don’t want to chance it,” she said.

Around a month ago, the 19-year-old delayed her admission to a university in New York and decided to attend a local school online.

“It was a huge decision and I think I just kind of had to sit and realize the unknown exists,” Robbins said. “That’s something I’ve always had an issue with.”

She said the COVID-19 pandemic made it worse.

“That difficulty deciding, am I going out will I wear a mask? Will my friends wear mask? Where will we go,” she questioned.

Making it easier for feelings of anxiety and depression to creep back into her life.

“I knew that I have to do something,” Robbins said.

Licensed psychologist with Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches, Dr. Patricia Shutt, said college students are one of the most at-risk groups for mental health issues.

“There is a lot of students struggling right now,” she said.

In April, a survey by Active Minds of more than 2,000 college students revealed 91 percent say COVID-19 had added greater "stress and anxiety.”

“This is something that’s affecting every single area of our life and every relationship,” Dr. Shutt said. “My hope is that other students can also raise the awareness that we all can be checking in on each other.”