After 18 months of remote and hybrid learning, it appears that being back in the classroom full time has had a positive impact on students’ mental health.
Studies have shown that the pandemic and, in particular the social isolation caused by remote schooling, has taken a toll on teens’ mental health. According to a study conducted by Mott’s Children’s hospital, a pediatric care hospital in Michigan, 46% of parents have noticed worsening or new mental health conditions in their children since the start of the pandemic. The hospital also says that, “1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 teen boys have experienced new or worsening anxiety since March 2020.” The CDC states that hospitals across the country saw a 31% increase of mental health emergency visits between March and May of 2020 for kids aged 12-17.
A junior at Dana Hills High says that “For someone with mental health issues, being at home made it much more difficult and it definitely broke the boundary of home and school.” Another junior seems to share this sentiment, saying that “being fully online made school feel optional”
Students returning to in-person school have noticed improvements in their mental health. When interviewed, a student at Dana Hills explains how “Being back in school has improved both my grades and my mental health”. Another Junior says that “being able to actually see people when you’re talking to them has helped me make friends this year”.
Students also are enjoying some of the social aspects of being back in school. A student at Dana Hills said that “the football games have been really great and gave me a sense of school pride and made me actually feel like a part of something”. Another student says, “I’m looking forward to actually being able to go to dances this year because we couldn’t this past year”.
With the pandemic expected to last into 2022 or even beyond, students’ mental health is extremely important. The Counselor’s Corner, found on the Dana Hills High School website, provides many resources for students that might be struggling with mental health issues relating to the pandemic.
Another Junior says that “being able to actually see people when you’re talking to them has helped me make friends this year”.
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