COVID and Mental Health Plagues Young People

Being a young person and adolescence is already difficult. When you throw in unexpected disasters, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, stressed, and mentally exhausted. We’re here to help one another. Let’s do this together.

Image from Stockvault

Image from Stockvault

Alex Hasty, Staff writer

Mental health is something that has plagued young people for years. What about now?

Our community has had some pretty heavy hits over the last few years. There has been so much going on that, for the last three years, there hasn’t been one full year of school. In 2018, our community faced the horrors of the Camp Fire. Following from 2019 to 2021, a global pandemic surges the world. This has taken a toll on a lot of people’s mental health.

COVID has been the most impactful factor on young kids’ mental health in decades. It has caused us to become locked away and secluded from our friends and extended family. Many people now have social anxiety and are struggling with mental health issues due to COVID. There are other factors but COVID and its products are the main culprits.

The interrupted school years have left detrimental effects on students and their overall mental well-being. After so long of not having nearly any at all, the sudden overload of homework is taking harsh hits on students.

Freshman Kabrey Cooper shared, “The most impactful thing on me is homework along with extracurriculars”.

Similarly, Freshman Quinn Felder stated, “I don’t have any extracurriculars, but the amount of homework I have really plays a huge role in my mental health”.

Coming into high school is an already terrifying experience socially, academically, and internally. With the pandemic adding on extra stressors, it’s important to slow down and take a break.

“You get used to all the work. I was overwhelmed when I first came here too, but it gets easier,” Junior Dylan Petelin advised,

Additionally, all three interviewees also added that masks do not help with social anxiety. They would rather be able to see people’s faces than not. This is shocking because one would think that with social anxiety, one wouldn’t want to see other people’s faces. In reality, the inability to recognize facial expressions, see smiles, etc actually just makes things harder.

With everything going on, all interviewees shared that they know that their teachers are always supporting them and they always have a safe space to vent. They know that if they are ever having massive amounts of stress, their teachers are there to listen.

Mental health is something we think about every da thankfully due to the era we are being raised in. It’s difficult and complex but we will get through this together.

If you are ever feeling stressed about your work or extracurriculars, just take a step back and remember that you will be alright. You will get the hang of everything soon. If you have social anxiety and you are getting overwhelmed with the masks, don’t worry. I have hope and you should know that it won’t be much longer. All we can do is hope. The only thing that is 100% is that we will make it through this as one.

If you ever feel like you need help, I strongly encourage you to talk to our school counselor, a trusted adult, a friend, or your family. We will be alright in the end. Let’s just keep looking to the future.

If you are struggling with your mental health and need extra support, here is a list of local resources: