Graphic by Christy Knudson
All students and teachers at Las Lomas are affected by the lockdowns being put into place all over the country, especially their mental health amidst being locked in their houses for weeks on end.
At first, most responses to an anonymous poll sent out last week noted that people do not know how to feel, causing a multitude of stress in their daily lives. Changing their schedules and adapting to a new home-bound life is affecting the mental health of the students immensely, as now time bleeds away while sitting inside.
Compared to their mental health at week one, some LL students and teachers explained that they have been less stressed after “adapt[ing] to the changes and the shelter-in-place order,” according to a Las Lomas scholar, while other’s mental health have only gotten worse over time. A student wrote that “Now that we have all this free time, I don’t know what to do with it. It makes me feel crazy sitting at home all the time, the days don’t mean anything anymore, they all just feel the same.”
Others don’t even know what to think at all. There are so many responses and feelings, varying from teachers stressed by the workload to students thankful for less work, and people lost in the changing world. An LL teacher said “The first week I felt more antsy and anxious…there were so many unknowns,” however, another instructor noted that, “I’m coping with the changes better now than I was during week one, mainly because I have learned many new skills to help me teach from a distance. Also, knowing that social distancing is making a difference (particularly in California) makes me feel more hopeful that we will make it through this time.”
However, the teacher still wrote that “it’s been so long since I’ve had real interactions with people or been anywhere for fun that it’s making me feel down,” which is one of the main reasons for most of the mental health deteriorations from week one to week four.
Intense news and lack of movement have led to depressive episodes for some, on top of not being able to see peers during the quarantine.
“It feels like we’re trapped and my mental state has gotten worse not being able to see friends,” wrote one student. They, along with many others at Las Lomas, feel this way one way or another.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel. LLHS Wellness Intake Specialist Elizabeth King McCormick announced this week a new plan to help students cope with the stress of online schooling, and quarantine as a whole. This new help line enables students “to access support services as we shelter in place…[by] offering confidential one-on-one ‘check ins’ every school day between 11:15 and noon. These sessions…will provide students with a safe space to access resources, practice coping skills and stress-management techniques, or self-refer to a support counselor,” as McCormick wrote, in hopes of sparking wellness through the minds of Las Lomas students.