WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Life during a pandemic has been complicated and challenging, not only with safety protocols and restrictions, but students are dealing with changes to their routines, schools and social lives.
“It’s heartbreaking, a lot of our kids, not just our kids but kids in general, they don’t have a way of dealing with situations very well,” City View ISD Counselor Meredith Utley said.
The pandemic has been a struggle for many including students who are feeling lost and as if no one is there for them.
“You’ve got the kids that are dealing with normal school work, then on top of that you’ve got family stress that’s going on, loss of jobs,” Utley said.
According to a recent study, the majority of young people mentioned loneliness and isolation as the main things contributing to their struggles. In fact, of kids ages 11 to 17 who took the study, 83% screened positive or at-risk for anxiety and 91% screened positive or at-risk for depression.
“There has been a very big rise with that being one of their main stressors is being locked up in a house all day,” Therapist on the Adolescent Unit at Red River Hospital Katie Eubank said.
Eubank said there are certain things parents need to look out for that could show their child’s mental health is being affected.
“Isolating more, not talking to friends, not talking to parents, staying in their room more, any self-harm that they might see, cutting or anything like that would be really big signs,” Eubank said. “Anger outburst as well, not being able to let out their emotions in a healthy way.”
To alleviate some of that feeling, Eubank said to keep them active.
“Getting outside in a socially distancing way would be a great thing,” Eubank said. “Keep them active as well. If they are sitting at home, they aren’t going to gym or anything like that at school they aren’t up walking the halls.”
By doing these steps and hopefully moving past this pandemic soon, Utley hopes these students never go through something like this again.
“It takes so much away from our kids, so much away from their learning, so much away from their families,” Utley said.
Eubank also said it’s important to remove the stigma about mental health services and says it is normal to see someone and needing to talk to someone. If you’d like to contact Red River Hospital, click here.
City View ISD ended its online learning in October 2019.