Students mental health during a pandemic


Lauralyn White

Senior Jose Vasquez works on his schoolwork during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lauralyn White, Reporter

Covid-19 has increased the already rising mental health crisis in America. Michigan Mental Health Services (MMHS) found some suicide hotlines reaching a 300% increase in calls and many suicide prevention groups are struggling to keep up. At the heart of this problem are students struggling to cope with the changes and fears brought on by the global pandemic. 

Senior, Jose Vazquez said, “The biggest impact is definitely loneliness that’s definitely been the biggest hit on my mental health.” With clubs canceled, quarantine, and social distancing in place, it’s no wonder that The Mental Health Network reports over 60% of students are feeling the same way. With some students back in classes, is it getting better or worse? Vazquez continued, “A lot of the focus has switched into making the possibility of going to school happen, rather than learning while in school.” 

However, with online students, the problems just get worse. Junior Peyton Harris stated, “You don’t get too much help from teachers, some of my teachers just don’t even answer emails when I email them.” Stressing over your schoolwork is the last thing that students need in these hard times; but, even with all of this stress, Peyton still feels that the worst part has been being stuck at home and not seeing any of his friends. Harris said, “It makes everything a little harder.” 

Key contributors to increased depression and anxiety are financial and life changes, stress, and loss, or sickness of yourself or a loved one. Almost everyone is facing these factors and now more than ever it is vital to take care of yourself and others. The SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak in 2003 resulted in increased mental health issues and suicide rates in Hong Kong. The economy crash and widespread fear over becoming sick left the country in shambles. With Covid-19 reaching all over the world, it is no surprise that we have seen the same effects. 

Students all over the world are struggling with how to cope with the effects brought on by Covid-19. The American Psychological Association (APA) has come out with a list of ways to help balance your mental health during these hard times. One of the most important methods is to focus on what you can control instead of fearing what you can’t. This is something that Jose Vazquez has been practicing, “I’ve been prioritizing things that matter most to me like going out with my dog, my girlfriend, and still having time to relax.” 

It is clear that we are all facing big changes in our lives, it may not be ideal, but it is important to keep a positive attitude. It’s important to reach out to your friends and family who may be struggling with mental health changes, financial burdens, or schoolwork. It is important to remember that we are all in this together. 

If you are feeling overwhelmed by these changes, talk to a counselor or someone you trust. For emergencies, the national suicide hotline, 800-273-8255, is available 24/7