Mental Crisis Due to Covid-19

Madison Toubeau, Staff Writer

During the Covid-19 crisis, mental health has become an uprising emergency. More and more kids are being diagnosed with mental disorders, and suicide rates have risen dramatically. 

According to an article in Yahoo News, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Children’s Hospital Association have all declared this a national emergency. They explain that from 2019 to 2021 there was a 45% increase in self harm or suicide attempts. In ages 5-17, many children are feeling the stress of an average day in their life plus Covid-19 stressors.

The North Kingstown School Substance Abuse Counselor, Ms. Sherman, explained that she is seeing an increase in the amount of kids she sees daily due to the amount of changing variables in every kid’s current life. When asked if she thought substance was playing a part in the uprising, she said that, “Substance abuse is a coping mechanism used to deal with the stressors of life.”

She said that substances are becoming more normal and acceptable in society, so as a way of coping with mental health issues, kids often turn to substances. 

An article in the Los Angeles Times about teen friendship also explained that not being social for long periods of time has caused many kids to have issues with making friends and being outgoing. This, combined with struggles put on by the pandemic, are creating high stress situations for kids. 

Many children are still dealing with stressors put on them during the quarantine, and adding normal social interactions and extracurricular activities are causing them to stress and are becoming overwhelmed and overworked. Trying to deal with normal schoolwork workloads, along with making new friends and keeping old ones, and getting back into working is a lot to put onto someone just coming into the world. Many kids did not finish middle school in person and are all of a sudden being thrust into the working world, along with high school work and a new group of friends.