Mental Health through the Pandemic

Luke Singer

2020 was an alarming year for everyone, but mainly, teenagers. Online classes, masks, and isolation caused by covid-19 created a whole “new” issue, mental health.

A stigmatized topic, yes, but a more than necessary one. Covid has exacerbated the issue, leaving children isolated and inside. With online classes being the norm, students have suddenly been stuck inside. 

“Staring at a screen for a prolonged period of time without a break is really not good for mental health,” said  Lauren Strelitz, a pediatrician, in her podcast for Stanford Children’s Hospital, “Everybody needs sunshine and fresh air.”

School in the first place, is a huge stressor. In an interview with a Conard student, they said that “school is made to be our whole world, and when that changes, so do our lives.” 

Mental health was an issue far before covid, but the virus has made the problem much worse. Before the pandemic, 20% of adolescents are predisposed to mental health problems, and John Walkup, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, says that “they will remember COVID as a time when things really started to unravel.”

A student at hall noted how hard was on his social life, saying how isolating it was. Dr. Lauren Strelitz noted that “It becomes a really big problem when the teenager is completely cut off from access to their friends.” With student’s only interaction with each other being in the rare break-out room, and the only sun they are getting through their window, students were completely isolated.

Even though we are slowly returning to life as we knew it, that doesn’t erase the last year or so. In this extremely difficult time, make sure you check on your friends and family. Some tell-tale signs of teen depression are cited in the info graphic below. Everyone needs a friend in these difficult times, so be one.