COVID-19 AND THE BUFFERING EFFECT ON THE MENTAL HEALTH OF CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

Muzamil Arif Batt

COVID-19 Pandemic and lockdown has brought about a sense of fear and anxiety around the Globe. This phenomenon has led to short term as well as long term psychosocial and mental health implications for children and adolescents. From morning till evening, we are reminded about the virus through news, mobile notifications, what’s App messages, social media updates and what not. The quality and magnitude of impact on minors is determined by many vulnerability factors like developmental age, educational status, pre-existing mental health condition, being economically underprivileged or being quarantined due to infectionor fear of infection.. Teachers who are the head and heart of the educational enterprise,many of them have suffered setbacks due to conflicts, natural disasters, or long-termgovernance problems. The home confinement of students specially adolescents associatedwith uncertainty and anxiety which is attributable to disruption in their education, physicalactivities and opportunities for socialization. Many of them are facing challenges that can bestressful, overwhelming, and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Public healthactions, such as social distancing, are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19, butthey can make the adolescents feel isolated and lonely and can increase stress and anxiety.This study shows from the Survey results that out of all adolescents interviewed, 24% ofthem had suicidal tendencies. Beside this 20% of them are having extremely strong mental health issues and 48% of them are having moderately strong mental health issueswhich isan alarming situation.The Researcher aimed to analyze the impact of COVID – 19 towards adolescent’s mentalhealth, education and aims at finding out to what extent the mental health of adolescents arebeing disturbed and what are the different types of mental health problems faced by them.The aim of this paper to creates awareness among the mass about the drastic impacts ofmental illness due to the pandemic on adolescents and ways to cure them. There is a pressing need for planning and implementing evidence based elaborative plan of action to cater to the psycho social and mental health needs of the vulnerable children andadolescents during pandemic as well as post pandemic. Thereis a need for developinghealthy coping mechanisms during the current crisis for the students. For this innovativechild and adolescent mental health policies with direct and digital collaborative networks ofpsychiatrists, psychologists, pediatricians, and community volunteers are deemed necessary.
“If u find out any mistake, be a struck dumb of the fact that it was a human endeavour.”

Muzamil Arif Batt is a BSc Student From Govt. Degree (PG) College Bhaderwah, Jammu & Kashmir