4 high school students talk mental health and how the pandemic changed them
Added 05-14-22 06:07:02am EST - “After two years of isolation and uncertainty, many American teens are struggling with mental health problems. But they're also discovering themselves ?" and their own resilience.” - Npr.org
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At this point in the pandemic, American teens have spent a significant chunk of their formative years isolated from friends and in fractured learning environments. More than 2 in 5 teens have reported persistently feeling sad or hopeless, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey of high school students. Many who were already struggling with trauma or mental health problems before the pandemic were deeply affected by the prolonged isolation.
But young people have also shown grace and resilience as they dealt with the challenges of COVID-19. NPR spoke to four high school students who marked the pandemic's two year anniversary with a newfound sense of self, and big dreams for the future.
If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (en español: 1-888-628-9454; deaf and hard of hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
At first, remote learning heightened a lot of the anxieties Ruby already felt about her Minnetonka, Minn. high school. She transferred there in the fall of 2019 and was struggling to feel like she fit in because many of her new classmates came from wealthier families. NPR isn't using Ruby's last name to protect her privacy.
"It was just something I was worrying about constantly," she said. "I was afraid to even move in class. I was just, like, sitting there, and I did not move because I was so anxious about what they were thinking about me."
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