Student Stress and School Stress Management Resources

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At Pride Surveys, we are committed to working with our partners in community coalitions and education to deliver data, research, and resources year-round surrounding the issues affecting youth through student surveys. One of the ongoing challenges amongst youth is student stress, anxiety, and depression.

It has recently been reported that schools across the country are overwhelmed with students of all ages who are struggling with mental health problems as the return to our ‘new normal’ continues to unfold. While the pandemic is largely to blame for this massive increase, 2022 has also been anything but easy on the world, with the Russian war against Ukraine breaking out and the general confusion and fear that has been created in our societies. According to school teachers, mental health workers, and doctors, not only has this increase in mental health issues among students made the return to school more challenging, but it’s also taking a toll on an already overburdened healthcare system.

Studies recently found that student stress, anxiety, and depression among adolescents across the globe doubled during the pandemic, with 25 percent experiencing symptoms of depression and 20 percent experiencing anxiety. The mental health crisis numbers are so notable that they led to the U.S. surgeon general issuing an advisory on the crisis in late December 2020.

The rise in student stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms continued throughout all of 2021. NPR reported that according to the Children’s Hospital Association, there were more than 47,000 mental health visits to emergency departments at 38 children’s hospitals around the country in the first three quarters of 2021 – nearly 40 percent higher than the same period the year prior.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even before the pandemic, the rates of children reporting emotional distress and other mental health issues was already on the rise, with more than 1 in 3 U.S. high school students in 2019 reporting they had “experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in the past year, a 40 percent increase from a decade earlier.”

Then there are students grieving the loss of someone they love due to COVID-19. According to a CDC study, it has been predicted that 175,000 have lost a caregiver or parent as of the publication date.

At this time, it’s vitally important to remember that students look to adults for guidance on how to respond to stressful events. There are resources and techniques schools can implement to better help students adjust, such as seeking suggestions from them on how to create an open dialogue to talk about feelings or concerns. Emotional check-ins help students feel seen and heard.

Schools, in turn, should provide enough material resources for teachers to be able to express themselves, whether that be decorating the walls of a classroom with colorful, bright, and welcoming messages or asking students to illustrate their feelings to help them process what they feel. Physical activities are also proven to reduce stress and support student well-being. This varies from breathing exercises to simply walking. However, keep in mind that students have been following rigid physical distance measures in many places and have been prevented from interacting closely with their friends and other students. It is vital for schools to set up a lot of opportunities for students of all ages to socialize, play, and interact with the other students they have missed being around through the pandemic, and even more vital that supervision takes place to monitor how students are interfacing with one another.

When it comes to the current events, like the war in Ukraine, teachers should consider keeping it as matter-of-fact as they can and assure students they are safe now. Ultimately, that’s what children seek when it comes to COVID-19, war, and other unknown factors. They want to know that they are safe. The key thing is to reassure students that what they’re feeling is valid at any age in order to mitigate student stress levels.

If you notice signs of behavioral stress or depression in a student, it is imperative to reach out to professionals. If your community coalition or school requires data collection to gauge the mental health of your student body, please get in touch with the Pride Surveys team. We offer a variety of options to fit many needs.


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