by Zev Fort
Multiple recent studies have shown that there has been a large increase of mental health related issues throughout COVID. We no longer had access to important parts of our school community, such as, sports, clubs, and in-person events. Many of us turned to social media and online communities to fill the gaps left by the absence of in-person contact. According to a sophomore at Ingraham, “I think that everyone spent a lot more time on social media because we felt isolated and needed some type of social contact and the only way a lot of us could do it was through our phones.”
Spending too much time on social media can be bad for you. According to a Review of Social Media Use and Mental Health, heavy users of social media (more than five hours a day), had a 48% to 171% higher chance to “have suicide risk factors such as depression, suicidal ideation, or past suicide attempts.” (Link)
There has been a steady rise in the number Ingraham students reporting mental health issues since the beginning of online school. This is not only happening here, but across lots of high schools all around the country. When asked about this national rise, Ms. Feder said that she had noticed the rise in students with mental health issues and agreed with the national statistics.
Although the number of students with mental health issues is rising here at Ingraham, some students found it hard to report their feelings while we were at online school. They also reported feeling like whenever they raise the concern that their mental health is deteriorating, they are disregarded, and feel invalidated.
If you are feeling sad, lonely, hopeless, or not connected to your friends or family or things that are bringing you joy, you should reach out to a trusted adult in the school building and of course a counselor, or you could fill out the exit poll at advisory, the counselors do read all of the responses every week.