By: L. Scala
With the COVID-19 pandemic raging on for over a year now, the mental health of several people has been seriously affected. With no social gathering allowed during the pandemic, people have struggled to maintain the quality of life needed to be happy. Staying home in the quarantine may seem like a big vacation to some, but that is far from the truth. Not only has the pandemic laid waste to regular life, but COVID-19 also affected people mentally. Several workers, students and more are exhausted. The pandemic is far from over, and mental issues are far from being resolved. This might seem like a problem that affects a few people only, but even in St. Paul’s, some people have been affected mentally by the pandemic and are trying to deal with it in any way they can.
From the global perspective, teenagers, in particular, have been a heavy target of mental health. For example, a research published on April 24th shows that two-thirds of British Colombia youth have been struggling with Mental Health since the beginning of worldwide lockdowns. Dr Quynh Doan, a paediatrician at the hospital and a UBC professor, added a note to the study published,“Everybody’s realizing that there’s going to be a huge mental health cost to this pandemic.” In Doan's Child and Youth Mental Health Preliminary Study During a Pandemic survey, researchers discovered that two-thirds of participants reported suicidal ideation, sudden mood changes and anxiety both of which were considered to be of small to average concern.
This is in contrast to a survey conducted two years ago, which discovered that one-third of teenagers admitted to B.C. Children's Hospital with non-mental-health disorders faced these psychological problems. Researchers believe that the closing of schools, social gatherings being discouraged or financial problems due to the economic impacts of COVID-19 are all factors that should be taken into consideration when discussing data of Teenagers and mental health during pandemics. “I think it’s because of the whole thing -- the uncertainty, the change in their lives, the worry that they might get (COVID-19), that someone in their family might get it,” says Dr Quynh Doan. With the pandemic, professionals have had to adapt to treat the needs of all children facing problems. Jennifer Charlesworth, B.C.’s Representative for Children and Youth, says “Many of the mental health challenges children experience are preventable, all are treatable, we weren’t meeting the needs prior to the pandemic. And so, we have to ramp up our capacity during and post-pandemic.” Overall, the impacts brought by the Pandemic has affected teens around the world and has provided valuable information to professionals. Another interesting aspect of the pandemic was how it is affecting our Lions and their mental health right here at our very own school.
With the danger that COVID-19 has brought, our school has needed to adapt to the situation by using blended learning measures. With these new measures made by the school, students are trying to cope with all that is happening. Although the school has done a great job in adapting to the situation and trying to help the most they can, students still are struggling with their mental health and blended learning. “I sorely missed my friends, and, as such, I thought that my mental state suffered as a whole,” says Fernando Lobo Penteado de Castro, a F3 student which is feeling the effects of blended learning. Another greatly affected area of the school was the sports teams. Andre Serra, a member of the school basketball team, also said how he and the basketball team is being affected by the pandemic, “it is really a shame that we are not able to practice and play as a team right now” adding, “Sometimes it can be very demotivating, but I know what I need to do to keep getting better, I must continue to work hard and hope that everything will return to normal soon”. With the safety protocols in place to ensure the well-being of all, games are not happening, and the basketball team members are trying to remain in good shape and hope that everything will return to normal as soon as possible.