Mental Health Challenges Abound During Pandemic for People Most At-RiskVoice of OC


All through the pandemic, the subject of psychological well being has been extra important than ever earlier than. Youngsters and college students, senior residents, homeless and low-income residents, medical staff, and veterans are among the many most susceptible populations in Orange County relating to psychological well being. Like many, they’ve been impacted by COVID-19 in devastating methods, which has taken a toll on their psychological wellness.

Editor’s Word: This story is a part of a collection on Orange County’s psychological well being. All tales are produced by college students in a digital journalism course at Chapman College. This story, the second within the collection, was written by Savannah Sauer and edited by Religion Smith. Click here to see the total collection. To inquire or write us about our Voice of OC Youth Media program or this piece of labor, ship an electronic mail to [email protected].

Youngsters and College students

In keeping with the twenty sixth Annual Report on the Circumstances of Youngsters in Orange County, the shift from normalcy that occurred on account of COVID-19 remodeled the day-to-day lives of scholars and households. The common faculty routine that youngsters had been accustomed to has shifted dramatically to satisfy COVID-19 tips and adapt to a web-based studying platform.

The report explains that the pandemic has illuminated points affecting college students’ well-being, akin to the dearth of obtainable expertise, meals insufficiency, and general security of their houses and communities.

Alexandra Hansen-Ankerstar, a therapist with Chapman College’s Pupil Psychological Counseling Companies, famous declines in college students’ psychological well being as a result of sudden adjustments attributable to the pandemic. 

“I’ve observed a rise in signs of despair, nervousness, and grief. College students are battling discovering motivation for lessons, getting out of their rooms, maintaining a schedule, exercising, or interacting with others,” she mentioned.

She additionally defined that college students are extra anxious in regards to the future than ever. The present circumstances have proven how unpredictable the world may be, in line with Hansen-Ankerstar. 

“What has been offered is extra fears with the longer term, particularly with college students [who] are graduating and unsure how they’re going to discover a job,” Hansen-Ankerstar mentioned. 

Danielle Kraft, a trainer at Orange Excessive College, claimed that the elevated isolation the pandemic induced had affected college students’ psychological well being. She acknowledged that there have been college students who are suffering from unhealthy dwelling conditions, and for them, faculty was a type of escape.  Nevertheless, with colleges staying primarily digital, that escape is now not accessible for them.

“These youngsters have been ripped out of the system and thrown again in, ripped out and thrown again in once more. It’s been horrible,” Kraft mentioned.

Like college students, lecturers and educators needed to modify to the adjustments within the schooling format and lack of contact this 12 months. 

Kraft added that the pandemic disrupted the routine of going to the lecturers’ lounge and seeing different educators, which was small however very important to them. “I see about 5 lecturers a day. I used to see about thirty to forty,” Kraft recounted. She elaborated on the stress the pandemic induced her:

“I’ve taught twenty-two years, and this has been the worst interval of my life. By way of instructing, I wish to stroll round and hug [everyone] and be there for [them]…it’s been terrible,” Kraft mentioned. 


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