5 Ways the Pandemic Influenced Students’ Mental Health

WATCH: Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 on a mission to stop loneliness

WATCH: Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 on a mission to stop loneliness

The pandemic has definitely shaken up the whole globe. In the wake of its wrath, there have been huge hits for the economy. Mortality rates have increased because of the virus. And anxiety and fear have run rampant for many communities.

While this was all happening, students from preschool to university have been forced to adapt to the new model of learning – e-school. We’ve compiled a list of how the pandemic has influenced students’ mental health around the globe.

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If you’re finished with your coursework then without further ado, here is how the pandemic impacted the young populace of today.

Lack of Social Interaction

An inevitable problem rose during the pandemic’s lockdown – social restrictions. This has been a big factor in students’ mental health during the pandemic. E-learning has restricted many from seeing other people.

Humans are social beings, and I’m sure you’ve heard that numerous times before. Many students felt cut off from their peers and robbed of the pleasure of being with those close to them. One psychologist from San Marin stated that personal connections are vital to students who have low esteem and anxiety. These types of students might have been impacted by the pandemic’s lockdown restrictions.

Solitude and being in your own space definitely have their advantages. The prolonged restrictions on socialization have definitely affected many of us. But since students are in the prime of their life and are full of youthful vigor, socialization takes an even more central focus.

Young people are more prone to be affected by their emotions. Socializing with their peers and not feeling isolated for too long is very important for their growth and well-being.

Lockdown Threatened Overall Mental Health

A hospital in France (Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Lille) conducted a study. It collected data taken from 69,054 students in France in 2020. The study involved asking students to complete a digital questionnaire that focused on their mental health. This made it possible to determine how many of them are experiencing any negative effects on it because of the pandemic.

The hospital’s research revealed that 12.4% out of almost half of the total students studied reported having visited a mental health professional. And there more statistics revealed from the study:

  • 11.4% of the students reported having suicidal thoughts
  • 22.4% reported experiencing severe distress
  • 27.5% had high levels of anxiety

Fear-induced Stress Was Amplified

Fear and panic because of the perceived threat of the virus naturally arose during the pandemic. Feelings of confusion mixed with the feelings of isolation amplified the distress in many young people. Some young adults reported feelings of fear because of stigma. Especially those who had to be quarantined and then returned to college.

A study in the UK also suggested that fear-induced stress rose because of the consumption of social media. The reason for it is that many media outlets were focusing on the Covid-19 virus non-stop. This in turn made some students feel even more anxious about the pandemic.

Depression Levels Rose

A study was conducted at the University of Patras in Greece by two researchers. Again, its aim was to detect any immediate psychological effects that emerged in students due to the health crisis – with a focus on detecting symptoms of depression.

Approximately 570 students participated, where they had to complete an e-questionnaire that measured the levels and severity of depression for each participant.

The results revealed that there was a very substantial increase in depression rates among the students. Because of this, the University took it upon itself to provide mental health services to students in order to support them.

Some Students Experienced Reduced Levels of Stress and Anxiety

For the most part, it seems that many studies reveal that the lockdown has been negative to students’ mental health, but it’s not all doom and gloom everywhere.

In a recent study made in South-west England, the results revealed that out of 1,000 students, 10% of female students actually reported a significant drop in their anxiety and stress levels during the quarantine. Moreover, 18-26% of male students reported a drop in their anxiety and stress levels as well.

If you look at it from another perspective, remote learning is actually quite astonishing and has a lot of positive aspects to it. Students can learn to be more independent, learn to be comfortable with their solitude, and students have the freedom of working anywhere they want.

There’s a real possibility that remote learning might stay, as a sort of relic from the pandemic, but evidently, it has revolutionized our way of learning in its own manner.

In Conclusion

Pandemic has been difficult for everyone, and while there are certainly many things to be concerned about, mental health is a priority for everyone’s well-being. We recommend all students to prioritize themselves and how they feel during this crisis.

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