San Dieguito Academy Newspaper

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In midst of a pandemic, students and teachers worry about social emotional well-being

Coping with change: An insight look into teen mental health

November 29, 2020

Virtual learning has become an important topic in our world today. It is affecting students, teachers, and parents. Now that we have been in distance learning for months, it is important to understand its effects on students. 

Teens are especially susceptible to mental health challenges, and we are seeing increasing issues caused by virtual learning. 

Therapist Liana Broyles helps teens that need extra support with mental health issues. Broyles noticed that stress, anxiety, and depression are all increasing right now due to the isolation we all are facing. As our society continues to change during this time, it is important to be aware of what teenagers are going through. 

It is a struggle to be a teenager during this time and has limited access to life’s normalities, such as a typical learning environment. As these challenges increase, teens must be informed about ways to help their situation. 

“I always will recommend therapy,” said Broyles. “If that’s not accessible, then reaching out to your support system, finding enjoyable activities to engage in, and figuring out the coping skills that work for you.” Everyone is different, which means everyone will have a different way to help themselves get through this time. It is beneficial to have an activity, song, or show that distracts one when struggling.

Fortunately, Broyles has noticed an increase in mental health awareness, especially in the social media era.

“I think that more and more teens are asking for the help that they need, which is so amazing. However, there is still a huge stigma around seeking help, so it’s important to keep raising awareness about seeking mental health support,” said Broyles. 

As well as teenagers being aware of what they can do to create a better space for themselves, it is also essential that parents are well informed. “Teachers and parents can support students more effectively by understanding the amount of stress that students are under right now, whether that be from personal circumstances or other issues,” said Broyles. Also, it’s so important for teachers and parents to educate themselves on the signs of mental health issues so they can best support the teens in their life.” 

Teenagers may not always reach out when they need more support, so parents and teachers must look for troubling signs in teens. Even checking in once a week and asking how they are doing can be incredibly beneficial for a teen. Simply the knowledge that someone is looking out for them is essential and can make a drastic difference in how teenagers feel. 

Virtual learning, pandemic, and other issues cause challenges. You never know when someone is facing a huge challenge mentally, and knowing when and how to provide support can change a life.

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