Mental health impacts everyone in some way, however it has reportedly heavily impacted students, especially after the global pandemic. Research shows that the stresses and restrictions associated with the pandemic have put students at greater risk of developing mental health issues, which may significantly impair their academic success, social interactions and their future career and personal opportunities.
The sad reality is that mental health problems affect about 1 in 10 children and young people. They include depression, anxiety and conduct disorder, and are often a direct response to their current situation.
In an online survey of 2,000 participants, it was found that the social isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic created feelings of anxiety and depression. This impacted how students were able to engage with their learning, as some students refused to join online classes or were unwilling to participate in online activities due to the negative impact on their poor mental health.
Some of the key impacts of the pandemic are:
Disruptions to in-person learning, leading to increased reliance on remote or online education.
Mental health challenges due to social isolation, stress, and uncertainty.
Widened learning disparities, particularly for underprivileged students without access to technology.
Increased workload and stress on teachers and staff.
Financial difficulties for families, leading to decreased access to education.
Loss of opportunities for extracurricular activities and socialisation
The government has now made children’s mental health a priority with additional funding, and a new compulsory health education that is intended to teach children how to look after their mental wellbeing and recognise when friends are struggling.
Top tips if you are struggling with your mental health:
Reach out to someone you trust, such as a friend, family member, teacher or mental health professional.
Practice self-care, such as exercise, healthy eating, and getting enough sleep.
Try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.
Write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal.
Set achievable goals and prioritise self-compassion.
Engage in activities you enjoy, such as reading, painting, or listening to music.
Limit exposure to news and social media that may cause anxiety or stress.
Create a support network and connect with others who understand what you're going through.
Remember that it's okay to not be okay, and reaching out for help is a sign of strength.