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Top Mental Health Challenges Facing Students
As the world changes to adapt to new challenges, new struggles are entering the schools and affecting all the students. The most recent developments in the education system to adapt in the year 2020 have particularly led to new mental health challenges for many students. An increase in depression, anxiety, and lowered social cues and interactions.
This requires adaptation by the entire school system, parents, and children. Only as a group effort can this be corrected!
Social Anxiety and Isolation
Children of all ages develop through interactions with friends and peers, they challenge themselves to new tasks and information to keep up and to remain part of the social group. This is important in all age ranges and helps students to find new interests and passions as well as learn social skills and learn more about who they are themselves. With a shift to online learning at home this has been interrupted and the new challenges faced are mounting.
The lack of in-person interaction with friends is leading to increased rates of depression and social anxiety in children of all ages, as well as lower attendance rates across the board. Without regular access to the school, the teachers, and staff, along with free meals and a warm place to be, many are facing new struggles at home without the support available to learn how to manage them.
Children are forming anxiety over social situations and a lack of experience with them, setting them back in things as simple as grocery shopping and making friends.
Anxiety and Worry
Along with the isolation and decreased social interactions many children are facing hunger, loneliness, and many face homelessness with no school days sheltered at their school. As the basic needs of children are unmet or are uncertain, they struggle with fear and anxiety.
Interactions with those outside the immediate family have always provided an interference and a possibility to share the burden, while that being missing from the current living situations have left many children vulnerable and with no contacts to talk to, no way to report their struggles or seek assistance. Increased anxiety, while normal in these situations, can create lifelong struggles for these children.
These situations are indeed traumatic to the children and will form their thought process for the decades to come. Anxiety can carry into adulthood and prevent further education, employment, and social interactions going forward.
As children who are currently struggling with the new situations presented to them age they will not be as socially experienced as other generations and may be unable to form healthy relationships easily or comfortably. There will also be difficulties in choosing a career, and with missed school perhaps even difficulty getting into schools and colleges, affecting their employability.
It may be difficult for them to do basic activities to run their lives such as make friends, get into college or find careers, and may even struggle with things like going to the grocery store or attending events.
It will take a group effort to help these children learn all that they need and have missed, as well as to help them integrate back into group settings. A focus on their mental health and development is more important now than ever before!