Mental heath affected by pandemic

Danielle Bardelang, Reporter

Since March 16, the mental health of students and teachers has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Changes in someone’s life are one of many things that may worsen mental health issues.

My students who have already been struggling with mental health issues are really struggling even more since COVID-19,” counselor Tracey Biesecker said.

COVID-19 has changed education. 

What I have been seeing in our general population as a whole is an increase in frustration over technology issues, learning strictly on-line and lack of in person connections and communications. Also, many students are frustrated at not being in a traditional setting where they can see their friends daily and participate in school activities like normal,” Biesecker said.

Not being able to freely communicate with classmates and friends has limited the amount of communication a student has.

“COVID-19 has affected my mental health by not really wanting to socialize. I’ve been so used to staying in and not talking to anyone in person. It’s kind of hard for me now to actually have an in person conversation,” sophomore Victoria VanKlaveren said.

COVID has affected more than just the students. Teachers and staff members have been going out of their way to continue the education of students. 

I believe COVID has affected everyone who works in education at every level. Teachers, administrators, counselors, tech, nurses, support staff, maintenance, cafeteria workers, etc., have been working an inordinate amount of overtime and with great frustration at times to try and make online learning workable for students,” Biesecker said.

Teachers and staff have been working harder than normal. Virtual learning has opened eyes to a whole different way of living.

“Our educators from top to bottom genuinely care about our students and are doing their very best and have been going above and beyond to help students since this all started in March. I also see the school community doing their very best to remain positive in mind and spirit. We are all learning and embracing new ways of accomplishing our specific tasks,” Biesecker said.

It is important to keep a positive mind. It is scientifically proven that positive thinking can reduce stress along with many other health factors. 

Everyone should keep in mind that while the COVID virus may never go away, things will get better! There will eventually be a vaccine. We will get back to our individual buildings and routines. You will see your friends again. You will participate in your favorite activities outside your home again. Understand that there will be a new normal following this pandemic and that is not always a bad thing. Kindness and manners and empathy do matter. Selfishness is out the window now.  I believe, or at least hope, this pandemic has raised our collective consciousness that we all must live our lives and conduct our day to day activities for the collective good,” Biesecker said.