Mental health during the pandemic – in light of Mental Health day

Written by Ebony – Gateway Learning Community Trust

We all know how severely the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted everyone’s day-to-day life and how it has considerably slowed down the global economy. This pandemic has affected thousands of people, who have either been infected or killed due to the spread of this disease.

Extensive precautions such as national lockdowns and the closure of schools were implemented to protect the general population. Despite this, it also had been warned that it may have a “profound and long-lasting” effect on people.

A study also found suicidal thoughts increased from 8% to 10% and they were the highest among young adults (18-29 years), rising from 12.5% to 14%. Even though those are relatively small rises, they are significant because of the short period of time they happened over. Though the majority of people did not report any suicidal thoughts, this creeping rise over a short period of time was a cause for concern.

How did the closure of school affect mental health?
On the 18th of March 2020, it was announced that all UK schools would close indefinitely until further notice as a response to the coronavirus pandemic. During school closure, pupils lost access to critical resources for their health and well-being that were normally provided by the school. In addition, lockdown also contributed to increased loneliness, anxiety, and stress for young children due to the closure.

Not only has the closure of schools impacted most families but it has also thrown new light on the disturbing problems that already existed. Families living in poverty found that lockdown was a big challenge. During the closure of schools, not all households had sufficient supplies to sustain themselves during the 6 months of isolation and the additional 3 months in the January 2021 lockdown. Fortunately, the government and schools supplied meals for families to help them battle poverty and in addition to this, schools also provided supplies such as laptops to help students engage in remote learning and not fall behind.

At the Gateway Academy, we have Mental Health Champions and they are actively busy with various projects to support our students and staff. The cake sale was a huge success and we are proud of our students and staff for supporting this event.

Go Green Mental Health Day was celebrated at The Gateway Academy on Friday 13 May. This was organised by the Year 8s students to raise money for Thurrock Mind. Students had a bake sale and it was a huge success!



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