Teenagers’ Mental Health vs. COVID-19

December 7, 2020

Since the moment this pandemic began, teenagers have been told to stay indoors, quarantined from the rest of the world. As many people know, mental health plays a big role in the average teenager’s life, and being locked away from friends and family doesn’t make said aspect of life any easier. Many high school students who did not struggle with mental health before have since developed different mental health issues over the last few months. 

Many students have felt a sudden occurrence of stress in their life that they hadn’t felt previously. This may be a result of worry caused by family members getting sick as well as not being able to have any face to face contact with loved ones. A female sophomore from Turlock High said, “Before Covid-19 I was pretty mentally stable, happy, and confident. However, since dealing with the pandemic, I’ve felt less confident and have developed some anxiety.” A male sophomore, also from Turlock High School mentioned that the main reason they’ve felt the same  way is because of, “newly developed relationship issues caused by the pandemic, as well as being isolated and feeling alone.” These were said by students who previously hadn’t faced difficulties related to their mental health, aside from the typical stress that comes with being a busy high school student, showing that COVID-19 has weakened the mental stability of many teens.

If life were back to normal, teenagers would be able to schedule more in-person appointments with therapists, see friends, and do other extracurricular activities that would help them cope with the problems they are facing. However, a new freshman at Turlock High School has also mentioned that, “It’s nearly impossible to find healthy coping skills while being stuck at home.” This shows that not only are teens struggling, but they’re struggling in solitude, feeling as if they have no way to help themselves or receive help from a professional. Since all of the students interviewed hadn’t had mental health issues before, this means that they also more than likely haven’t experienced how to cope with their emotions through healthy and safe outlets.

With Covid-19 having no foreseeable end, students who hadn’t previously experienced any negative mental health issues are now experiencing many. Teens are feeling overly stressed, depressed, and anxious. These feelings are due to being so secluded, not knowing what will happen next, and not having many options for coping with their feelings. With high school students being at the age where they’re most likely to develop problems like this, it’s no surprise that such an abrupt change in their day to day life has led to all of these newly developed mental health issues. However, there is still a little light in this darkness. Turlock High offers many options for students struggling with their mental health during this time. The school’s counselors are actually trained to help students work through their stress and anxiety and could help you decide if professional help is something you need. If you’re unable to afford outside care, for the first time Turlock High School has a free professional clinician who is able to meet with you for up to eight weeks to discuss your mental health and help you find healthy ways to cope. This is all extremely scary, but the school is doing everything they can to help you through it!

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