Mental Health

Declining Mental Health of High School Students in New School Year

Amid the new school year, over a year after the initial coronavirus outbreak, the education departments of the U.S. are showing alarming statistics and worries about our students’ mental health.

With the help of a survey conducted from the “Reemergence” program of the Morgan Stanley Alliance for Children’s Mental Health, educators were asked on the conditions of their schools and the students as well. The Morgan Stanley program is designed to provide support and access to mental health education and care of children, especially coming out the pandemic.

The survey showed that 89% of educators reported that there were absenteeism problems and nearly two -thirds of educators reported an enrollment problem.

In terms of mental health, the survey revealed that four in ten high school teachers said that there was an expected result of students with with existing mental health conditions to return with much severe mental states. This could be due to the effects of a year in isolation, parental issues, and inhibited behavioral problems. The survey showed that was the third most critical obstacle to affect the quality of student learning this school year. The first crucial factor was disadvantages in student learning (47%) and the second factor was economic hardship (42%). The economic hardship, as experts explained, was a major problem for both adults and children as the pandemic caused an economic depression. With the lack of jobs and hiring, even students couldn’t help to provide for their families or themselves, leading to senses of helplessness and financial insecurity.

“Mental health was really becoming one of the critical sources of death and disease in kids and obviously preventable in so many ways and treatable, but just it wasn’t getting paid attention to,” said Joan Steinberg, president of the Morgan Stanley Foundation and CEO of the Alliance’s advisory board. She also explained that “Young people had been sort of locked up for a year and a half. They’ve had fewer social interactions and all of a sudden are going to be sort of pushed back. And while everyone was so excited for school to reopen … they weren’t addressing the fact that a lot of those young people might have social anxiety about returning.”

Without proper support, educators are expecting a greater fall in mental health as students don’t have access to the proper care nor the attention towards it. Neglect and stress are two highly dangerous emotions of today’s teenagers. With prograns such as the Morgan Stanley Alliance for Children’s Mental Health, experts are hoping to be able to provide those much eneded support systems for students, especially high school students. The survey also showed that schools and educators are now more aware of the declines of mental health more than ever.

“Then they’ve got a year and a half of learning to try to catch up, and particularly for teens, if they’re applying to college, there was already so much stress and anxiety around those time frames. Now you’ve got all these added things, so I just think there’s a lot baked into what’s going to happen as the school year starts,” she added.

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Categories: Mental Health