Ohio has prioritized getting K-12 students back in schools by Monday, March 1, because many adolescents’ social-emotional and mental well-being has been impacted by the pandemic.
“We know some of our students have not been in the classroom in months – it’s taking its toll,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “For some, remote learning works, for others, it doesn’t. We are in danger of too many kids struggling for too long if they don’t get back to school in person.”
“School is community for our youth,” said Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (ODMHAS) Director Lori Criss. “It benefits kids so much more than academic content. It’s the social and emotional connections that kids feel with friends, classmates, extra-curriculars, teachers, and more.”
According to ODMHAS, the change of routine and the constant uncertainty of the pandemic produces anxiety, and the disconnection from learning, emotional, and social supports can lead to depression. In addition, missed significant life events like graduations, proms, art performances, science competitions, sports, and more can result in grief.
- Talking about feeling hopeless
- Worrying about being a burden
- Feeling like there’s no reason to live
- Using drugs, alcohol, or engaging in other risky behaviors
- Struggling with school
- Disconnecting from family and friends.
Trained counselors with Ohio’s CareLine are available 24/7 at 800.720.9616. They can help with a crisis, provide guidance, and connect callers to help in the community.