COVID-19 worsens mental health crisis among teens

The coronavirus pandemic has intensified the growing mental health crisis among teens, a new study suggests.

Iran PressSci & Tech: Students heading back to the classroom after a year and a half of remote learning are facing a mental health crisis. A recent survey by Mental Health America found that 54% of 11 to 17-year-olds reported frequent suicidal thoughts or self-harm in the previous two weeks — the highest rate since it began screening in 2014. 

"If kids don't have their mental health in check, those academics are going to — it's going to be like a toilet bowl," said Jaclyn Friedman-Lombardo, director of counseling and psychological services at Montclair State University. 

For those who are struggling, "mental health isn't always about seeing a therapist or a psychiatrist," Friedman-Lombardo said. "Sometimes it's about becoming involved in your community. It's about making those connections, feeling that you belong," CBS News reported.

This summer at New Jersey's Montclair State University, 16-year-old Katherine Chiqui Zumba learned techniques to reduce stress and how to focus on mental wellness. On top of her remote high school classes, she worked at her family's daycare center. But as pressure and isolation took a toll, she kept quiet. 

"A lot of kids, they don't want to address it or are scared to address it," Zumba said. "I'd always fake a smile." 

She said she was not really depressed, but mostly sad all the time." 

Even before starting her junior year of high school, Zumba already learned a lifelong lesson. "There are going to be issues in life. The real thing that you got to focus on is just, you know, how you handle it," she said. 


Read More:

Live near woodlands for your children's better mental health

Metabolism doesn't slow at middle age, a new study suggests