Recognizing Mental Health Among Students

How Students Have Been Affected and How They Can Grow

Recognizing Mental Health Among Students

Gracelyn Perrine, Opinions Editor


The harsh effects of COVID-19 on society within the last two years have created an impact, to say the least. In uncertain times like there have been, it has been easy to let thoughts consume you. But what the average reader may not know is the real toll this has possessed among our long-term selves and future health. When we think about the effects social distancing has brought us, there is a lot many do not know or consider.

First comes the overall health of society as a population. Social distancing, when first thought of, provides emotional and mental disconnects and can lead to hopelessness, no motivation, and feelings of emptiness. This is mainly because as humans, we rely on others to keep us afloat; our friends and family are lifesavers when we don’t even know we need to be saved. However, if you look at specific research, social distancing has proven to cause health problems other than those of emotional and mental. It is proven that human distance leads to high blood pressure, heart disease, and even death in some cases from prolonged isolation. Having physical bonds with the people around you strengthens your immune system, without you even realizing it! Being able to be in public settings now, and have a full in-person school schedule has shown to largely benefit the overall health of teens among the United States. 

Secondly, from a big picture view, connection is more powerful than we think. Whether you consider yourself an introvert, extrovert, or even a little bit of both, socialization and connection with others provides emotional strength and security. Purpose and motivation from others lets the human body keep moving, for we know that we’ll have support in every direction that we go with our lives. Our bodies scientifically are more commonly going to feel supported and more safe when we have others around us. In a different light, we can be critical support to other people as well. Sometimes we are not even aware of our impact on others, but to the other person, you may be all they have. So remember, even if you may not be able to physically be present for someone, it’s crucial to maintain contact. While close contacting among students at CHS is not currently happening, being able to check up on others, whether it be due to regular sickness or other reasons, is vital. 

Lastly, connection is crucial for humans because it reduces stress and lets us become the best version of ourselves. In times like the last two years, stressors can range from occupations, income, and even the feelings of losing control of surroundings. That is all normal, and even makes sense when we look at how the human body works. In times of stress, the body produces hormones that create a “flight or fight” situation. When this hormone release occurs, our bodies go into overdrive and worsen over time if not handled correctly. The term “correctly” can mean many different things to many different people; however, nobody wants this inner conflict.

While social distancing and quarantines have taken a stop to roll within the last year, the effects of COVID-19 on mental health still vary. Within the last year, online learning has caused students to learn to work harder and be more attentive in a relaxed environment. The unfortunate side effect of this pandemic has also been lack of motivation. As online learning took to CHS, many students felt as if there was no urgency nor a need to finish assignments on time and attend school as frequently. Learning to work around these poor circumstances and be able to use it to grow is vital in society, as many students who encountered the pandemic within their first two years of high school are looking at college within the next year. Time flies. 

Regardless of COVID-19 and the effects of the last two years, mental health among teens should be more strongly recognized and treated, for teenagers face many pressures in today’s society and world. In reference to “Report: Depressive Episodes on Rise Among Teens, Many Not Being Treated”, it states, 

When you look at why this is happening and what some of the factors may be, we only need to look at today’s world and the amount of pressures teenagers face: Bullying, issues of belonging, academic pressures . . . These factors can lead to enormous stress.”

This explains the constant struggles of societal, educational, and family pressures on teens. As this collective group grows up and matures, they start to feel desires for belonging and satisfaction with themselves. Stress is a thing on its own, but when it is not handled and managed correctly, it can transpire into something more serious. Stress can take many forms on teens, and if they don’t have a positive outlet to let those feelings out, it can build up and only make things worse; when teens don’t have that sense of belonging or purpose, it can give a sense of no hope and lead to depression, anxiety, or many other mental illnesses. If the standards for teens were only lowered, that could make a world of a difference in their eyes alone. 

Focus on regaining motivation and desire to push through, and if you have not necessarily dealt with mental health struggles, remember to be conscious of the struggles and endeavors many have dealt with. Reach out and stay connected CHS.