From a global pandemic to climate change, the youth of our beloved nation has experienced a lot – from loss of work, academic pressures and uncertainties, hindered outdoor sports and activities, socializing et al – as they find themselves in unprecedented times with the declaration of repetitive lockdowns followed by social distancing norms. With over 1.16 million confirmed cases in India at the time of writing (and counting), no amount of effort put into planning, strategising or preempting challenges seems enough. All of this impacts our mental health.
Deemed to emerge into one of the nation’s – nay, world’s – most difficult viruses to contain, the newly rampant and virulent strain of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing the way the youth perceive life as we know it. Maintaining social distancing as a necessary mean to ‘flatten the curve’, the youth can be seen taking up numerous online activities, including accessing social media, playing games, online classes and hobby tutorials, digital news portals and books, apart from spending some quality time with their family. However, not all of the youth is able to brace themselves from the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the more hopeful parts of our response has been the attention paid to mental health since the initial days of the pandemic. Here’s the thing: all of us are at risk for the virus and that can be incredibly anxiety-inducing. Compounded with socio-economic problems of migration, loss of jobs, and various other kinds of grief, our mental health has gone for a toss. For those with pre-existing struggles with depression, mood disorders, etc getting medication had also been challenging in the beginning.
In a way, this is the perfect storm. Loneliness, disruption in routines, lack of ready access to resources, loss of human touch – the discomfort is a specific brand of grief. With the academic years upended, their future is also uncertain. Humans can build resilience against uncertainty but prolonged exposure to this magnitude of uncertainty can be distressing.
As we make plans for the future – the “after” – we need to ensure we make provisions for the healing the young have to do, or else they’ll be playing catch-up for the rest of their lives.
About The Author:
An HR aficionado by passion, a publicist by profession and a writer with an ‘occasional’ block, Aatish Jaisinghani is an ardent health advocate! He began his employment journey at a very young age when he was hired by an online business start-up that helped to pave the way for his further employable skills today. As a disciple of the art and science of Human Resources, he has researched and analyzed leading journals and studies of modern HR management. He has been featured on Forbes India, People Matters, Reputation Today, Youth Inc. Magazine among numerous other portals. Currently working for a leading PR Agency in Mumbai, he handles large-scale, high profile events and celebrities. He has come a long way from a fresh graduate averse to employment!
He can be contacted here.
The series under Guest Blogs reflect the author’s own views. The Mental Health Mirror does not claim ownership over – or expertise over – the contents of such posts.