Youth mental health negative effects after the pandemic

It is now 3 years since the WHO declared the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, we notice that the pandemic has left a strong mark on the mental health of most citizens in our country. Let’s take a closer look at its health effects among schoolchildren. This is an age group that especially needs contacts with peers for proper development. During the pandemic, it was subjected to long-term isolation and is now facing the negative effects of this. It seemed to us that the effects of the pandemic would be short-lived, but the reality shows something completely different.

What are the side effects of the pandemic on youth mental health?

During the pandemic, school youth were exposed to home isolation, ubiquitous information chaos and the fear of falling ill with COVID-19 and death (both their own and loved ones). They were unable to interact with peers or pursue her interests. This long-term state of tension and uncertainty of tomorrow caused some of the teenagers to experience psychological side effects, such as depression and anxiety disorders. Scientific research shows that in 2022 young people were accompanied by a deterioration of mood, a sense of loneliness, problems with dealing with their own emotions, memory and concentration, sleep problems, negative thinking about themselves, prolonged fatigue, greater irritability, withdrawal from favorable situations contact with other people, higher levels of stress and anxiety, and even acts of self-harm and suicidal thoughts.

The time since the threat of further waves of the mutated Sars-Cov-2 virus has passed and the lifting of the ban on wearing masks in most public places has passed is quite short. Nevertheless, the results of various studies on the effects of the pandemic on our health are appearing and there will be more such studies. On their basis, we will be able to more precisely assess its negative effects on our health and determine the possibilities of how to deal with them.

What do the statistics show?

Scientific research statistics from 2022 show that among school youth exposed to home isolation and stress related to the reality of the pandemic, 39.8% of the surveyed people showed signs that may contribute to the deterioration of their mental state after the end of the threat. Despite the fact that many young people coped with difficult conditions during the pandemic, the mentioned 39.8% is a disturbingly high percentage of young people who failed to cope with stress and home isolation.

How can technology help young people cope with the negative effects of the pandemic?

Technological progress contributes to improving the quality of our lives. At this time, when we are facing the negative effects of the pandemic on our mental health, this is especially important. Many startups of positive influence try to support people by supporting their contact with a specialist and teaching them exercises related to complete relaxation and mental relaxation.

Among various startups in the Medtech industry, we want to pay special attention to those companies whose functioning improves the mental state of teenagers in Poland.

Startup CALMSIE– is a Polish startup that helps in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. Entrepreneurs have created an algorithm used in a videobot. It facilitates the conduct of therapeutic exercises and the establishment of a relationship between the psychiatrist and the patient.

Focusly application– teaches relaxation, contains sets of exercises that will help with problems with anxiety and stress, lack of sleep, problems with concentration. It can be used by individuals as well as companies.

Can young people’s business ideas be the key to supporting young people with problems?

It turns out that definitely YES! Young people can create a company supporting teenagers and adults experiencing post-pandemic trauma. An example is the Recykling Myśli company, bringing together psychologists specializing in depression, stress, anxiety disorders, mood disorders and other mental ailments. Experts help young people aged 11-18 and adults. It is a company created to meet the needs of psychological support, e.g. during the difficult period of the pandemic. Consultations can take place over the phone and online. The founder of Recykling Myśli received support under the YES program – an international program run in Poland by the Technology Incubator Foundation. Thanks to participation in this program, she opened her own company and now is helping young people overcome mental problems after the pandemic.

In the last 3 years, young people up to 29 years of age with their own business idea could, as part of the Young Entrepreneurs Succeed! receive support in implementing their  business ideas. As part of this program, taking care of the participants’ well-being, their integration and involvement in the project, the Foundation organized one stationary training. Why? Young entrepreneurs getting to know each other and their mutual relations during and after the program are of great importance for the participants’ well-being. Ultimately, each of us needs direct social contacts, without which it is difficult to maintain good mental health.

The negative effects of the pandemic, related to their impact on mental disorders of teenagers in Poland, are a fact and we should not underestimate them. They are a social problems, which affect all of us as parents, family and friends of young people affected by this problem. How can you help young people suffering from mental disorders, apart from using the activities of startups?

As a preventive measure, it is recommended to lead a healthy lifestyle through physical activity, proper and healthy diet, allocating time for relaxation and sleep, limiting listening to negative media messages. In the event of disturbing symptoms of depression or anxiety, it is recommended to consult specialists – psychiatrists and neurologists, use neurological rehabilitation with relaxation, use psychologists’ advice, use support groups. In addition, you can use the activities of foundations supporting the mental health of young people and public hotlines.

We are currently facing an increased number of teenagers experiencing mental disorders after the pandemic. It may take time, patience, and trust to mitigate these negative effects. Helping young people in combating their mental problems is now a future challenge for their families, friends, for each of us.


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