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Students wearing masks and practicing social distancing during the school day.

COVID-19’s Toll on Mental Health

February 11, 2022

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COVID-19 took a toll on students’ mental health, but not for the better. Due to lockdowns and virtual learning, many students at FCHS were faced with the challenge of isolation and loneliness, which is something that many students had never experienced before. It hit many students like a slap in the face, which left a mark of anxiety and depression on some.

While many students left quarantine feeling just fine, other students did not. Anxiety and depression rates have risen significantly since the beginning of the pandemic. According to the (CDC), teens ages 12-17 have had the biggest rise in mental health issues. About three out of four teens who have been diagnosed with anxiety have also been diagnosed with depression. In a recent Snapchat poll of FCHS students, FCHS sophomore Jamie Rodriguez found that students’ self-reported mental health has declined over 13% since two school years ago.

Many students didn’t like the isolation aspect of Covid-19. “Being locked inside was awful because I couldn’t see any of my friends,” said Rodriguez. The isolation was also hard on FCHS freshman Gracie Bossieux. “I didn’t like constantly talking to my friends online and not in person,” she said, adding that she found herself “ghosting” a lot of her friends. “I felt like I wasn’t as close with people anymore because I was having to talk to them online, so I just cut them off. I’m not sure why I did that,” she said.

Many students did find a way to cope with the feeling of loneliness during the lockdown, though. “I would Facetime my friends all the time,” said Rodriguez.

So have things improved for students? “I do think things are better now that we’re back in-person since my life isn’t so isolated to my bedroom,” said Rodriguez. FCHS freshman Carly Brown agrees. “I get to see my friends more and I don’t feel as alone in my house,” she said.

If you find that you’re struggling with mental health issues, you don’t have to suffer alone. Talk to your school counselor, or you can visit the sources below for advice and help. You can also turn to these resources for help:

Suicide hotline: 800-273-8255

Self-help solutions for dealing with depression

Tips for coping with anxiety

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