Numerous psychiatric studies have documented increased rates of depression and anxiety among those forced to relocate, with sudden moves often affecting individuals’ social support and sense of identity and control. As the COVID-19 pandemic spread through the U.S. in March of 2020, universities evacuated students from their campuses, and thousands quickly relocated. Few studies have examined the mental health impact of the sudden disruption. In a new study of 791 undergraduate and graduate students, surveyed between April 9 and August 4, 2020, researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston University’s School of Social Work, and McLean Hospital revealed that students forced to relocate during the spring were more likely to report COVID-19-related grief, loneliness and generalized anxiety symptoms than students who did not relocate. The findings are published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.
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