STUDENT WELLNESS

Help Available For Students With Mental Health Issues Amid Pandemic

Nov 13, 2020, 9:42 PM | Updated: 10:10 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Thousands of Utah teenagers have been placed under a mandatory online learning program through the end of the month. That change has many families working to help their kids cope with increased anxiety, depression and sadness.

The news came just days after Gov. Gary Herbert implemented an increased stay-at-home order.

Child psychologists said many teenagers are grieving the things they’ve lost, like people grieve death.

“It’s almost like a death to them,” said Dr. Annie Deming with Intermountain Healthcare. “A part of their childhood has died.”

Deming said kids need to know parents are there to listen, even if they can’t understand.

“During this time, when they literally can’t even make connections at school and just have that human interaction on a day-to-day basis, it’s just really hard,” said Deming.

Parents like Heidi Christensen, who has four children in school, including one in college, said the changes from the governor’s office and the shift to digital learning has been tough on her children.

A school counselor recommended her daughter get professional help. Easier said than done, Christensen said.

“The first therapist gave me a callback and was like, ‘I would love to see your daughter. But first, I’m not taking new patients, and if I was, I wouldn’t be able to get her in for a year,’” Christensen said, adding that she’s heard that from two different therapists.

In the meantime, thousands of families have been staring down a dismal winter full of quarantines and life that likely won’t feel “normal” for months to come.

And for Christensen and her family, they’ve changed their focus from getting good grades to staying mentally strong. Deming recommended families get back to interacting with each other and having fun.

“It sounds a bit cheesy but family game night, or family movie night,” she said.

Deming said those simple, interactive activities can be an important part of fighting depression and anxiety.

She said Zoom calls and video conferencing are not enough to satisfy the social demands that are so important to teenagers and their mental well-being. Christensen said she doesn’t pretend to know all of the answers, but she doesn’t think students need to be kicked out of the classrooms.

“People are on overload,” she said. “Our health care workers are on overload. Our educators are on overload. The kids are on overload – and all for a pandemic that has a high, high survival rate.”

Most of the school districts across the state have mental help professionals on staff and available to families even when the schools have moved to remote learning. The state also has an emotional health relief hotline. It’s open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The number is 833-442-2211. It’s free and they can offer resources.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Student Wellness

(KSL TV)...
PHILIP MARCELO and DAVE COLLINS Associated Press

Mask mandates go away in schools, but parent worries persist

Major school districts around the country are allowing students into classrooms without masks for the first time in nearly two years, eliminating rules that stirred up intense fights among educators, school boards, and parents throughout the pandemic.
4 months ago
FILE PHOTO (Cache County School District)...
Josh Ellis, KSL TV

Cache County schools adjust schedules due to student, staff absenteeism

The Cache County School District has announced adjusted schedules for all of its schools due to "unprecedented student and staff absenteeism."
5 months ago
FILE PHOTO: Viewmont High School student Becca Marsden is tested for COVID-19 by Davis School Distr...
Tamara Vaifanua, KSL TV

Utah House votes to suspend Test to Stay program

Lawmakers in the Utah House of Representatives have approved a bill that would suspend the state's Test to Stay program and clarify how schools would request to go remote.
5 months ago
Luke Fowles walks with his mom and brother into Foothills Elementary after getting a police escort....
Kelsey Ott, KSL TV

10-year-old Utahn gets police escort for first school day since starting cancer treatment

A Utah boy had a special sendoff for his first day of school.
10 months ago
Utah Valley University is number 3 in  Business Insider list of universities with best return on in...
Kelsey Ott, KSL TV

UVU announces vaccine mandate for spring semester

Utah Valley University announced it will require students to have the COVID-19 vaccine beginning in the spring semester.
10 months ago
Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona answers questions during the daily briefing at the White ...
COLLIN BINKLEY, AP Education Writer

State mask bans face federal civil rights inquiries

The Education Department says it’s investigating five Republican-led states with universal mask bans, saying the policies could amount to discrimination against students with disabilities or health conditions.
10 months ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Help Available For Students With Mental Health Issues Amid Pandemic