Mental Health declines during Coronovirus


Morgan Nations/Ashley Odom/Emilee Gurrola/Noah Hansen

Mental illness is like a monster. During the 2020 pandemic closures, students became overwhelmed by anxiety and depression.

Ashley Odom and Elisabeth Cochran, Reporter

When the 2019 Coronavirus Pandemic started, no one was prepared for the impact it would have on the world. Travel restrictions were put into place, as the Government told us to stay inside our homes. This not only affected businesses, schools, and churches, but the isolation also proved to worsen the youth mental health crisis. Students ages 12-18 reported worsened symptoms of apprehension and depression. 

Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It impacts how we think, feel, and act. It is the building block to our lives as social beings, and the pandemic has thrown our sense of normal out the window. 

“If you would’ve told me a year ago that I would have been locked inside my room, I would’ve told you ‘interesting now leave me alone’,” Bo Burnham, musical production of Inside,

digital documentation of his mental decline during the pandemic. 

Professionals in close contact with students noticed the mental shift when students came back to in person school.

“There has definitely been a big increase in anxiety among high school students since the start of the Coronavirus began,” Student Support Counselor Alicia Walton said. According to an

 article from ABC News ‘Striking’ impact of COVID-19 pandemic on adolescent mental health, Dr. Deborah Levine has seen a rise in the number of mental health emergencies in teenagers, which only got more severe during the pandemic. 

“The problem has always been there. The pandemic, we felt it even more so,” said Levine, an associate professor of clinical pediatrics and emergency medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. This crisis didn’t come as a surprise to doctors like Levine, who continue to see the impact, as demand still outpaces access 21 months later.

“We’re seeing it on the ground,” Levine said. “We’re looking for ways to help ameliorate the crisis and in the meantime, we’re actively treating these children who need help.” The health care system was stressed even before the pandemic, but it reached a new level of overwhelm amidst the chaos. 

“During the pandemic the demand for therapists skyrocketed, and the supply didn’t go up,” President of the American Psychiatric Association Dr. Vivian said. 

The supply of accessible therapists declined as a lot of health workers became ill from COVID-19 and were forced to retire due to financial stress. 

The United Nations Children’s Fund claims it may take years to fully measure the extent of the pandemic’s impact on young people’s mental health. Suicidal thoughts, anxiety, eating disorders and other difficulties were seen as lockdowns, online learning, and family casualties from COVID-19 occurred . 

“I lost family members, my sense of security and my mental stability,” student Jeanette Taylor said. “With my ADHD, I couldn’t focus on school work while at home and it was really difficult having to deal with the fear of a deadly virus and fear of failing my sophomore year of high school,” Taylor said. 

Amidst the loss, and mental confusion student counselors want to be a light at the end of the tunnel. 

“As counselors we have to be creative in having a proactive reporting approach for students to reach us,” Student Support Counselor Jason Martinez said. 

Reaching out to counselors or other authority figures for help with mental health is highly advised in general, but especially during these trying times. 

“Every day was a struggle,” Taylor said. “Reaching out did make me feel weak at first, like I couldn’t handle all the pressure, but my counselor helped me realize that no one could’ve prepared themselves for the devastation that would come with this pandemic. I am not weak for feeling overwhelmed, I am strong to have lived through this.”

(This article is one of two in an in-depth-feature. Read the next article called “Hidden Monster Within” at