Due to COVID-19 the entire world went into lockdown and during that time adolescent’s mental health took a negative turn. Being separated from friends and the changes of normal social life have been key causes to this impact. Today, many people can only see their friends through limited restrictions due to the pandemic, such as masks and having to social distance. Through our 8th grade Community Project we are trying to help youth balance their mental health. This includes finding people to talk to, keeping active, eating well, asking for help, taking a break to do something they enjoy, and trying to stay on top of their responsibilities.
Supporting your friends and family can make a difference in the way they feel. A great way to start is reaching out and letting them know you care. It can be as simple as a text message or suggesting a get-together (if circumstances allow). Keep your friend’s and family’s well-being and emotions in mind when talking to them. You may be someone your friend goes to to talk about their feelings and struggles, so do your best to listen and understand what they have to say. Always keep your well-being in mind when helping your peers, it’s okay to kindly turn down someone who, when they vent, can negatively affect you. Suggest to them that they go to a trusted adult, someone who may be more equipped to understand and handle their situations. If they (or you) don’t have any outlets for help in your personal life talk to someone here at PMS; some great people are Mrs. (Sharon) Charles (Social Worker), your guidance counselor (Mrs. Cornacchia, Mr. Brown, or Mrs. Sutherland), a school psychologist (Dr. Tricia, Dr. Tiziana), Ms. Lonergan (Student Assistance Counselor) or a trusted teacher. Keeping other people’s mental health in mind is important, but it’s okay and valid to focus on yourself. Your well-being should come before anything else, but sometimes it’s hard to have a positive mindset. During the pandemic, many kids and teens have struggled with motivation, depression, and anxiety and other serious mental illnesses. Keep in touch with yourself and make sure you get the help you need!