Why young people will need more mental health support after lockdown
Our bloggers explain why they believe young people will need more mental health support as we emerge from lockdown.
We will need time to adjust
I think young people will need more mental health support after lockdown because it’s been a long time to spend by yourself, without the support of your friends and classmates, and a lot of us are feeling the effects. I think people are starting to see the importance of school and having a structured day. Doing the same thing every day, although it may seem boring, gives us a sense of security, as we know what will happen each day.
After lockdown I think schools need to be more aware of students’ mental health and be more flexible about attendance, as we will all need time to adjust. I want teachers to be understanding if I need to take a couple of days off for my mental health.
I think teachers also need to think about how much work they set. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been set so much work, resulting in a lot of stress and anxiety.
I also think mental health should be more widely taught across schools, help for young people should be more accessible and counselling should be more widely offered.
Lockdown has led to anxiety about being in public spaces
I think young people will need more mental health support after lockdown because isolation will have caused some to develop fear and anxiety about being in public again.
I’ve noticed myself feeling a sense of dread about performing normal activities like shopping or going to work. If I’m in a space where it’s difficult to stay two metres away from others I start to feel very panicked. For a long time the message from the government has been that going outside of our homes or being near other people is dangerous for our health and the health of our loved ones. This is bound to have caused some lasting effects in the minds of young people.
Lockdown measures are being eased while there is still a moderate risk to public health and I’ve heard people talk of a ‘second wave’ of infections. This, coupled with the pressure to begin ‘returning to life as normal’ outside of the home will likely cause increased distress and anxiety symptoms in young people. We should ensure that there is more mental health support available so that they can get help dealing with the perceived element of risk that now comes with public spaces.
Lockdown has created more anxiety about the future
Young people will require more mental health support after lockdown because of the countless ways in which this pandemic has affected our education and our future, causing uncertainty and anxiety. Whether you’ve had your exams and placements cancelled or lost hours of contact time with teachers, lockdown has built feelings of anxiety and stress in many students who now fear for their future.
This period of uncertainty has taken its toll on children and teenagers, which is why it is vital that we are provided with not only academic support upon our return to school, but also with mental health support.
After all, while lockdown has had a huge impact on our education, it has also had a significant effect on our mental health, and it is important that this is prioritised just as much as our schoolwork.
People have really suffered during lockdown
I think young people will need more mental health support after lockdown, due to how much many people have suffered over the past few months. People with existing anxiety issues, especially health anxiety, may have gone through the worst of their fears during this pandemic and are likely to need more time and patience than most to recover and return to a normal level of functioning.
Also, those who have been isolated from support networks, or stuck in a negative environment, might be feeling lost again or set back in the progress they had made. We need to make sure all young people who need it, get the appropriate help as soon as possible.
We must also remember that even if everyone else is getting back to ‘normal’, it’s okay for it to take a little bit longer for some of us.
Where to get support
If worries about the coronavirus pandemic are affecting your mental health, you are not alone. Have a look at our page on coronavirus and mental health for tips, advice and information on where you can get support.