The pandemic has changed the routine of our entire world; life is simply altered for individuals from every age, class, ethnicity, and country. In the midst of all of this, it is easy to forget how the pandemic affects children and their mental health.
UK’s children and young people alike have not been able to enjoy the perks of social interaction due to the coronavirus lockdown, this has led to the development of several mental health issues in these age groups.
Professor Tamsin Ford is a psychiatry expert for children and adolescents at the University of Cambridge. She warns that during the lockdown it seems mental health issues in the youth are growing and despite this group being least affected by infections, they are the most affected by the restrictions that come with lockdowns.
This is part of the reason why some experts believe schools should remain open because the pandemic affects children and their education besides their obvious mental health that suffers from a lack of interaction with their peers. In a way, it helps their mental health as well.
Schools like Razzamataz Theatre Schools are gladly welcoming back their students during the pandemic as most schools around the country continue to reopen. Keeping in mind government guidelines they have been keen on informing parents and guardians to introduce new rules. School education is simply not operating how it used to be.
The rule of six is something such schools now try to observe where a congregation of no more than six people is not allowed and face coverings are mandatory.
Denise Hutton Gosney is the MD and founder of the school. He believes when the youth takes part in performing arts, young people get an opportunity to make sense of their current situations and it helps them understand their world. To him, it’s no surprise that children are suffering because not being able to go to do such activities robs them of the chance to understand.
A study in the Lancet points out the developing mental health struggles for people aged 16 to 34, it reveals that the issues have become twice in number only by the end of April compared to those aged 55 and older.
The pandemic affects children in subtle ways, not being able to meet friends, and socialize is perhaps only one factor among many others. The growing issue in children and young adults is perhaps one of the most alarming issues linked to the prevalence of the virus in society.
Still, however, some experts advise parents to understand that there is no guarantee that children will instantly find happiness if they return to school, therefore they should put in the extra effort to build quality relationships with their children.
Research has shown that home-schooled children actually succeed academically and are also mentally healthier. This should offer some insight into how relationships at home can also lead to a healthier individual formation. Many external stressors are often absent at homes, therefore making them safe spaces for the growth of healthy minds.
This means parents and families should think about how well they can provide such comfort to the youth at home while the pandemic continues to dominate most of the outside world.