A local health professional and teacher says that more students are seeking help for their mental health. She adds that being isolated and withdrawn from their peers impairs their mood, which in turn can affect different aspects of their life. For example, their performance in school.
Noelia Citialin says, "Sometimes it's just really putting out the effort of going through the motions. It's like for what? What am I really doing this for? And those are the thoughts people are feeling when they get low, which can happen if you're stuck at home every day."
Citialin is a local registered nursing professional who says that children and young adults often lack coping mechanisms. "Sometimes you're going to see those things through their grades. So they're just going to act out, without really having to act out."
And while she says students are used to turning to their peers for support, many don't have that option at the moment, as they've shifted to distance learning for nearly a year now. She says, "It's important for them to be around each other. Young kids are still developing; their brains are still developing. They’re still deciding what do I want to be when I grow up? What kind of friends do I want to have? And to have that come to a halt, it affects all of that.”
Due to this, Citialin parents to look out for changes in patterns. She says, "Note any changes in their behavior, note any changes in their expression, and then really pay attention to those grades. What do you have to turn in on this day? And help them, we kind of have to micromanage them."
For students looking to improve their mental health through distance learning, Citialin recommends getting some fresh air. "Actual exercise, like going for walks. Walking through the neighborhood where you see nature, or just a change of scenery from indoors. Simple things like that."
While it may be hard, she also urges those struggling to be candid about your feelings and to lean on loved ones. She says,"actually, making a phone call instead of a text, so you can hear people's tone and you can hear people's laughter. Things like that can really help our mood and serotonin."
If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health through this pandemic, you can reach out to your schools superintendent for help, or visit the resources below.