Youth Mental Health in a Global Pandemic
By: Melanie L., North Oakville Youth Development Council
June 24, 2020
Published in the Oakville Beaver on June 10, 2020
Times are hard for everyone as we distance ourselves from others to stay safe and healthy, but times are especially difficult for the youth in our community. Before the global pandemic, we already had so much going on. Between balancing our school lives, extracurricular activities, part-time jobs, social lives and being surrounded by pressures of social media, youth mental health was relatively vulnerable. Then, the lives of the world’s population, including young people, changed quite suddenly.
Change can often be scary and with an enormous lifestyle change, all of us have so many new challenges to overcome. Adults in our community may assume that it will be easy for young people to adapt to online learning because we are often perceived as being technologically savvy, but this is not the case for all youth. Learning online brings new challenges to learning that can add even more stress to our already stressful lives.
Young people in Halton have expressed that the stress that we are feeling is incomparable to the stress of the adults in the community. We recognize how hard the global situation is for adults as they are often left without work or they are front line workers keeping the community safe. Seeing the stress of the adults around us can cause many young people to dismiss our feelings and to not seek the help we need.
While the stress we are experiencing may differ from that of individuals above the age of majority, many young people are experiencing new kinds of stress and anxiety that needs to be discussed. It is important for us to feel that our feelings are valid and that what we say is heard because, with so many changes, youth mental health needs support now more than ever.
Halton Youth Initiative Member.
To view our Youth Mental Health Messages from the Halton Youth Initiative please visit the Halton Youth Initiative YouTube channel.
Kids Help Phone is always available for support at 1-800-668-6868 and kidshelpphone.ca Youth in Halton also can contact ROCK Online at rockonline.ca