PHOTO: Junior Mia Magney longingly looks at the dog park filled with social interaction and playful dogs.
By Emily Chapman,
Since 1949, May has been attributed to destigmatizing and spreading awareness of mental health by organizations like Mental Health America (MHA) under the title May is Mental Health Month.
This year, with May is Mental Health Month being observed during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many students have been struggling with their mental health.
Students at Davis High, like other people across the globe, have had to adapt to a life indoors without being able to physically see friends and family. Many have had their mental health severely impacted.
Sophomore Kirpalee Niraula is among the students whose mental health has been negatively affected by the pandemic.
“I do feel as though my mental health has been impacted by [COVID-19] because I’m not used to being inside so much. I need to have interactions with lots of people over time to feel content,” Niraula said.
Also impacted by the lack of physical connection and staying inside, senior Lucy Knudsen feels anxious with the spare time that shelter-in-place allows.
“When I don’t have a lot of work and activities to distract myself with, it’s easier for my anxiety to take over my thoughts,” Knudsen said.
With the uncertainty and isolation people feel, therapists and organizations are providing tips to help others improve their mental health during this time.
California-licensed marriage and family therapist Carol LaPerle advises DHS students to take it easy and find outlets to express feelings while staying at home.
“It is so important to stay connected, to be kind to ourselves and others. This is not a time for overachieving, but a time for reflection and reaching out,” LaPerle said. “Remember to go outside, get your feelings out by writing, art and physical activity.”