Mental Health and The Pandemic

Teen Mental Health During Distance Learning

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Katrina Shoemaker

Katrina Shoemaker, CKHS sophomore

by Ellie Larsen, Section Editor

The Coronavirus pandemic and the isolation that has come with it has negatively affected many, particularly teens. Between the stress of schoolwork and obligations outside of school, it can get pretty overwhelming.

When schools shut down in March, many students were cut off from resources they depended on, like support groups and mental health counseling. According to Lancet, a mental health journal focused on child and adolescent health, reportedly 83% of people struggling with mental illness noted their symptoms worsening during school closures.

Katrina Shoemaker, a sophomore at Central Kitsap High School, noticed there being a lot more work this school year and more pressure because of that. Because of the stress of these increased pressures, some students are struggling.

Students’ day-to-day schedule has been disrupted; one of the things that helped reduce stress for many students was the consistency of the daily school schedule. With that thrown out the window, there’s a lot of other coping techniques that could be used. This includes keeping your schedule as consistent as you can, taking time to yourself and time to connect with family and friends. 

The importance of staying connected and maintaining those relationships cannot be stressed enough. Shoemaker has been connecting with her friends via social media and email. Besides simply maintaining relationships, human interaction has a positive affect on your mental health. 

“You still get lots of benefits from virtual communication,” Lydia Denworth, a science journalist, said. “Hearing the voice of someone you care about can reduce stress levels.” 

If a student feels like they are struggling, they shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to their teachers or peers, and counselors are posting resources on Google Classroom regularly. Resources are also available on the CKHS website, under the ‘Community Support’ tab.