While the COVID-19 pandemic may be largely behind us, its impact is still felt in many ways. High-school students, in particular, have been demonstrating mental health concerns that can be traced to surviving the pandemic. The sudden shift of lifestyle, including spending far more time inside, working and schooling from home, and reduced ability to get space between family members are some of the contributing factors. Combine them with the fear and stress from the constant worry about the consequences of catching COVID, and the results are understandable.
The Impact of COVID-19 On Youth Mental Health
Recent studies have revealed that approximately 37% of all high school students experienced impaired mental health throughout the pandemic. 44% of those responding to the study reported the experience left them feeling sad, hopeless, and powerless in the face of the pandemic. Further, nearly 30% of these students reported that the pandemic led to the loss of employment for at least one family member.
Other facts about the pandemic and its impact on mental health include the following:
- Members of the LGBTQA community, already at an increased risk of emotional abuse and suicide, showed higher degrees of both during these two years.
- Before the pandemic, 17-18% of those ages 6-17 experienced mental health concerns in the United States. The impact of the pandemic is undeniable, as those rates have reached an incredible high of 33%.
- Adult pandemic-related trauma from financial concerns, illness, and related stresses trickled down to impact the children they were around.
- Cases of arguments, physical violence, and other forms of abuse of youth increased during the pandemic.
- The opioid epidemic markedly increased in severity during the pandemic, causing further struggles for individuals and their families.
Children isolated at home during the pandemic suffered from a lack of support opportunities from friends, teachers, counselors, and other role models. Given the additional stresses of the pandemic, it’s not surprising that many parents missed the emotional and mental struggles of children. Their focus was on keeping their family healthy, fed, and housed during a challenging time.
These factors are only exacerbated for the 1.5 million children who have already lost a caregiver to COVID-19. Further, the worldwide racial upheaval that occurred in 2020 put minority youths under even further stress. Combined, these factors led to notable increases in stress, depression, and suicidal ideation in everyone. All of these factors were seen in greater numbers in minority students.
Family Psychiatry & Therapy Helps Overcome Pandemic Trauma
If you or a family member are struggling in the aftermath of the pandemic, it’s time to reach out for help. Family Psychiatry & Therapy maintains a team of trained professionals who can help families like yours find a path to healing and recovery. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our clinic by dialing 201.977.2889. Our friendly staff will work with you to schedule a consultation to help your family begin healing from the struggle of the past few years.