There is no doubt COVID-19 has had an impact on everyone. Whether it be the loss of a loved
one, a change in career or lifestyle or spending more time at home, for many anxiety is at an all
time high. Adolescents is an age group where we have seen a significant increase in mental
health challenges. Teenagers have gone through a year and a half of virtual schooling or a
combination of virtual and in person. This has led to such a change in the way teenagers
interact with each other and has taken away some of their opportunities to grow through social
interactions with others.
In returning to attending school and extra curricular activities in person many teens have been
faced with anxiety they may not have experienced before. This can happen for a variety of
reasons including lowered self esteem as a result of quarantine, relearning to interact face to
face rather than through devices and all of this coupled with the difficulties they faced before
COVID even happened. There are also older teenagers entering college, after their high school
years ended in virtual learning, who may struggle to find their stride in maintaining a regular
schedule and managing high volumes of homework. All of this is happening while parents are
trying hard to transition back to working in an office and being home less. These
circumstances coupled together can leave teenagers and young adults struggling and parents
with too little time and energy left to guide them.
Now is the time to find a safe place for teens to discuss the difficulties they face and to receive
some guidance in how to maintain a healthy mental state. Teens can learn to manage their
time, regulate their emotions, work towards a higher self esteem and work on having a healthy
social life. Teenagers who learn to manage stressful situations will become adults who are
armed to find balance as well.
Jessica Shrieve, LPC