Mental Health During COVID-19

Photo by Daniel Reche from Pexels

   Let’s talk COVID-19,  and no not just COVID-19 but the toll it has taken on young adults’ mental health. The COVID-19 pandemic challenged most people, not just the virus but the strain on human mental health. Teens and young adults face never-ending pressures during their lives. COVID-19 has added new stressors of uncertainty and they have taken an emotional toll. Studies show COVID-19 fears, stress, and social interactions have harmed the mental health of many people, those between the ages of 13 and 19, even though adults have also reported that COVID-19 stress has impacted their mental health. 

      Today’s topic of discussion is about the effect on teenagers. Some teens are missing their varsity team activities, their part in the school play, or their final semester of high school/college. As well, many teens may seem down, stressed, and or moody. After some research, reports suggest that the impact on teenagers has been especially significant. Teenagers have been especially vulnerable because of school distance learning, friends, stress, and loneliness.    

      Documents on teen mental health were released and mental health claims nearly doubled during the pandemic. Another report showed the number of kids and teens checking themself into a behavioral health clinic.  Health claims for ages 12 to 17 increased by 31 percent in the year 2020.  A student survey that went out at seven different American universities reported a large negative impact of COVID-19 on their psychological health and lifestyle behaviors. While a return to normal is hopefully around the corner, the struggles of the past years will likely continue to affect families for some time.

Glaisma Perez, a counselor for students at Southern Maine Community College shared, “Of all civil rights for which the World has struggled and fought for 5000 years, the right to learn is undoubtedly the most fundamental.”

Mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive, schizophrenia, and substance abuse have increased. 

  • Anxiety: A 93.6 percent increase in anxiety from April 2020 over April 2019 for teens ages 13 to 18 years old
  • Depression: An 83.9 percent increase in depression from April 2020 over April 2019 for teens ages 13 to 18 years old
  • Schizophrenia: Claims for emergency department visits for schizophrenia among those 19 to 22 years old increased 61.3 percent in April 2020 over April 2019
  • Self-Harm: Claims for self-harm (e.g., cutting, crashing a vehicle, attempted suicide) ballooned 333.93 percent in August 2020 over August 2019 for teens ages 13 to 18 years old
  • Substance Abuse: Substance use disorder claims rose by 62.7 percent  from April 2020 over April 2019 in teens 13-18 years old 


Categories: Health

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