Student Mental Health Has Worsened With Pandemic


Molly Egan, Editor

Students at Whitefish Bay have always been stressed. It’s a competitive school, and academic expectations are high. But with the events of the last few months and the pandemic, student mental health has taken a turn for the worse. Whether it be the difficulties of online learning or the isolation caused by the need for social distancing, student mental health has been declining with the pandemic. 

Within the high school, the school psychologist, Ms Gorlewski, has noticed a “dramatic increase in students’ needs and an adverse impact on their wellbeing.” Across the board, many more students are having difficulties with mental health. 

Ms Gorlewski reports, there has been a rise in “anxiety, depression, isolation, lack of self-care, and lack of balance between school and life.” Further, many students have had a significant drop in grades or attendance, and there has been a rise in student participation in therapy. Despite this, Ms Gorlewski has seen a decrease in students coming to her, likely as a result of virtual learning. 

On a national level, the whole country is struggling with mental health. In June, the CDC reported that the pandemic had had a significant effect on adults’ mental health. They saw a rise in depression, anxiety, substance abuse and suicidal ideation since the COVID-19 pandemic had hit America. In addition to this, many people battle feelings of isolation while in quarantine or are forced to deal with the loss of loved ones to coronavirus. 

In Whitefish Bay, the counselling office recently sent out an email advising students on getting good sleep, practicing mindfulness, and taking care of themselves. 

If students are struggling with their mental health, they should focus on taking care of themselves. Remember that mental health comes above all else, including school. If you are feeling hopeless or depressed talk to someone, whether it be a parent, friend, or counsellor. If you need help, you can contact the school psychologist, Alli Gorlewski, at her school email, or talk to your school counsellor.