Mental Health Issues and High Schoolers During COVID-19


COVID-19 has negatively impacted every single age group. Businesses have declined, loved ones have been lost, and new challenges have arisen. Due to these struggles and more, recent studies have shown an alarming rise in depression and anxiety in teenagers.

Being a high schooler is difficult already, but the pandemic has intensified some of the usual challenges. Through a recent survey among 1,500 high school students, new data has revealed that half of them say that they are experiencing more stress than usual. 

This information is concerning, but not much of a shock. The lives of teenagers have been completely uprooted by the pandemic. Sports seasons were cut short, socialization decreased, and practically overnight, high schoolers transitioned from in-person school to online learning.

Additionally, teenagers have lost summer internships and jobs, which some depended on to provide for their families or to save up for college. These are only a few of the obstacles that teenagers are fighting to overcome. 

Given these obstacles, it is even more vital to have a strong support system when dealing with mental health issues. However many of these support systems have diminished in many areas, and teens are left to fend for themselves. Losing connections with friends, not being able to enjoy their passions outside, and not having proper access to resources can all be very trying. 

Some symptoms of depression to look out for are physical complaints like headaches and fatigue, academic decline, and excessive self-criticism. It’s important to be able to differentiate these symptoms from feelings of sadness and recognize serious mental health problems.

Dealing with mental health issues on your own has been shown to lead to developing substance abuse disorders. In a 2016 study of 10,000 teens, it was revealed that about two-thirds of the participants who struggled with drug or alcohol addiction had experienced some mental health issues in the past or were currently still managing them.

At a time like this, teenagers are much more vulnerable to make unhealthy decisions. It can be hard for teenagers to admit when they have a problem, but it is essential to seek help, whether it be by telling a parent, a friend, or someone else they trust.

There are many organizations with online programs designed to help struggling teens, such as Mental Health America, Turn2Me, and Shatterproof. Even with COVID-19, high schoolers don’t have to go through mental health struggles on their own.