COVID-19 Stress May Trigger Mental Health Issues Among University Students, Research Predicts

COVID-19 pandemic has affected the mental health of numerous youngsters living in Canada, aging between 18 –  25 years who attend post-secondary education, including universities and colleges, a research published by The Conversation, carried out by a research group consisting of neuroscientists, has revealed. 

Due to pandemic and lockdown across the world, campuses had to be closed, making all education institutions move to remote learning. As a result, students have reported that learning in different time zones has often been difficult or even impossible.

Among others, due to COVID-19, students have been going through a lot of uncertainty for their future, Erudera College News reports. 

Researchers who have studied stress and mental health among students for more than a decade, stated that social isolation and lack of social support due to COVID-19 developments could harm students’ mental health. 

“University administrators must ensure there is adequate funding and resources to support student mental health, including addressing problematic substance use. Professors must be willing to acknowledge and address mental health with their student populations”, the article reads.

According to researchers, the obligatory distancing measures imposed to prevent further spread of the virus as well as reduction in social gatherings has created the feeling among students that they are disconnected from their home campuses where this support was available.

Spring 2019 data have shown that nearly 70 per cent  of students felt a lot of anxiety during pandemic, followed by more than 50 per cent who claimed it was very hard to function in these tough  times, and 16 per cent who had even considered suicide throughout the year.

Moreover, researchers outlined the social relations importance on well-being, unveiling that students who lack social interaction have higher chances to experience depression.

Research’s preliminary data has shown that COVID-19 pandemic has caused stress and mental health issues to more female students, and has also had a significant impact in their academic studies.

Another thing noticed during research is the difference on how male and female students manage pandemic. Female students emphasized that they have been using social media to cope with it, but they have also felt the need to use social media more often than supposed or even felt annoyed if not online.

On the other hand, another finding is that using alcohol or cannabis to treat COVID-19 has negatively affected schoolwork and stress in male students.

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