Spreading Awareness for Mental Health

As the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, struggles, cases, and deaths keep going up. Even with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, there is a long way to go before life can return to normal. As a result, mental health has deteriorated for a lot of people during these difficult times.

According to a study done by activeminds.org, out of 3,239 high school and college students:

  1. 74% of students are challenged in maintaining a routine due to COVID-19
  2. 38% say that have trouble focusing on work
  3. 55% of all students surveyed do not know where to go for help with their mental health

While mental health has been deteriorating for many, it has especially been horrible for kids. Not being able to see classmates or friends (or only for specific days of the week) has affected their quality of learning. Learning through a screen without others beside the student limits the validation from peers, which is very important. When the student finds it more difficult to learn, it leads to self-doubt and frustration. This, in turn, can create a resentment of learning, which appears in multiple aspects of life. Adults have learned how to manage and control their anger, but kids are still learning these skills and are not yet proficient.

A seven year old who was tired of online school wrote a poem about Zoom and how annoying it was. Picking up coverage from news outlets, the story was too relatable for kids across America and the world. While noted in the article that it was a poem written for class and that he read it out loud to be snarky, the poem really hit home with those experiencing online school:

“Boring online school

Today is just another day

in a long line of days

staring at a dumb screen

Just booring booring

online school that’s the

only thing that did happen

it’s the only thing that is

happening that’s the only

thing that will happen”

The following poem is reinforcement of the points shared above. The kid is talking about how boring it is to stare at a screen all day, and how it seems as though it will never end.

Kids’ experience online is different than that of adults. Additionally, adults have more coping mechanisms to deal with online work than kids do with online school, since they have access to more resources. Kids thrive and benefit much more in the long term from being around their peers. The difference is incredibly important to recognize. Expecting kids to behave like adults online without additional support likely will exacerbate mental health issues of kids, letting this pandemic take even greater control on the future of the world.

One thought on “Spreading Awareness for Mental Health

  1. Excellent Blog. Several originations, both private and government are currently conducting surveys and studies of a more severe consequence of COVID and that is an increase in suicides and suicide attempts by children as young as 5 years old. A recent CDC survey reported a higher rate of anxiety, depression and other mental health problems in children under 18 years of age. The national survey of Emergency Room Visits conducted by the CDC showed a 31 percent increase between January 1st – October 17th 2020 over the same period in 2019 of suicide attempts. A combined survey of 1000 students conducted by “Chegg.Org” and the “Born this way Foundation” reported that 5 percent of the students interviewed made a suicide attempt during the pandemic. Thank you for writing about the mental consequences brought on by virtual leaning, that until now have taken a back seat to vaccine development, treatment and all of the social warnings of mask wearing, washing hands and social distancing protocols. Our kids, our most cherished treasures are suffering and they need to get back to school now.

    Liked by 1 person

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