Exploring The Mental Health Impacts Of eLearning
As you’ve probably noticed, eLearning has risen to become a normalized staple in education over the last several years. From specialized classes to higher education degree programs, this mode of education is making education more accessible to a wide variety of people. However, beyond making education more accessible, eLearning platforms are also appearing to harm students in key, unforeseen ways. Specifically, students engaging in educational pursuits through eLearning platforms are having to battle a wide variety of negative mental health experiences.
One of the core principles of counseling is cultural awareness or, in other words, having an adequate understanding of the cultural context in which a patient or client lives and experiences life. For counselors and mental health professionals working in the modern age, that means developing a deep awareness of online learning platforms and their effects on students. Understanding mental health counseling’s relationship to eLearning platforms in the modern world is key to developing a broader perspective on the ways that eLearning is potentially harmful to students in today’s world. Here is the rise of eLearning platforms in mental health counseling.
The Negative Effects Of eLearning
Before understanding why eLearning is becoming a bigger issue in mental health counseling, it’s important to understand the ways in which this mode of learning is impacting students. Here are some of the most devastating effects that eLearning is having on students today.
As humans, we’re wired to crave social interactions. In fact, these interactions are often key ingredients for full and fulfilling lives. As a result, being isolated and limiting the amount that you interact with others can be incredibly harmful to your mental health. eLearning can be a major catalyst for feeling isolated and alone. Unfortunately, as these insights are becoming more apparent, eLearning is steadily rising in popularity in a variety of fields ranging from business to community health.
Essentially, when students attend traditional in-person classes, they have a wide variety of opportunities to interact with others. Conversely, when engaging in educational pursuits on eLearning platforms, it can be incredibly difficult to forge meaningful connections with peers or instructors. This is one of the main reasons that eLearning is beginning to show up frequently in mental health counseling in today’s changing world.
2. Screen Fatigue
A problem that was virtually nonexistent a few decades ago but is currently plaguing people across the world is screen fatigue. Essentially, this ailment comes as a result of spending too much time in front of digital screens, such as that of computers and smartphones. Sadly, eLearning platforms demand that students spend a significant amount of their time on their computers staring at screens.
Consequently, many students learning on these online platforms are now developing significant symptoms of screen fatigue. As you can imagine, this is now becoming a more common topic in mental health counseling. This being the case, mental health professionals are now having to develop new suggestions for clients and patients dealing with this type of fatigue.
3. Chronic Stress As A Result Of Blurred Boundaries
When students engage in eLearning, they typically engage in classes and coursework from home. While this can make education more convenient, it can actually be extremely harmful to students’ mental health in significant ways. Specifically, when the lines are blurred between education and leisure time, it can start having substantial effects on mental health. This is because not having concrete boundaries can cause chronic stress and persistent anxiety about education-related matters. In addition, it can make it difficult for students to feel respite from this stress even in the comfort of their own homes.
This chronic stress that is plaguing many eLearning platform students is becoming a more significant issue in the mental health care space. Hopefully, mental health professionals can start devising more effective treatments and advice for eLearning students to cope with this type of stress.
How eLearning Students Can Protect Their Mental Health
Though there are some mental health risks associated with eLearning platforms, this mode of education doesn’t seem like it will be declining in popularity. This being the case, it’s important that online students know what type of habits they should be engaging in to promote positive mental health. Here are some good habits that students interested in eLearning should be aware of:
- Have a strict schedule
Making clear boundaries between education and leisure can help diminish feelings of pervasive stress.
- Exercise often
Getting physical can help students gain more clarity and shake off feelings of fatigue and stress caused by sitting at a computer.
- Designate a space for education
Having a space solely committed to studying can make it easier to have clear boundaries that mimic traditional in-person classes.
- Prioritize social interactions
By making it a point to interact with others regularly, even if it’s consistent phone calls, students can significantly lessen their risk of feeling lonely and isolated.
- Talk to a professional
If students are feeling too much stress and anxiety as a result of online learning, seeing a mental health professional can make a significantly positive difference.
eLearning Needs To Be Innovated
While eLearning has made education far more accessible for many people, it has also come with its own slew of problems. Most significantly, it is causing many students to experience a variety of negative mental health experiences as a result of the process of learning remotely. Hopefully, as more awareness about this problem is spread, mental health professionals will devise more effective solutions for these ailments.