Online education is said to be causing mental health issues among students. This type of learning has been the primary solution for many schools as students continue their education amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
Several studies involving distance learning and mental health cause quite a stir among parents and other stakeholders of education. When schools were forced to resort to distance learning to finish the school year, many did not expect that it would go on to the next year. Many did not foresee that it can affect the mental health of students.
What is distance learning?
Distance learning is a type of learning where students attend their classes on an online platform. Lessons, discussions, and assignments are given and done over the Internet. Teachers and students meet through various digital classrooms like Zoom, Google Meet, etc.
Since it is implemented by authorities that there will be no face-to-face classes yet, teachers have to be more creative, innovative and resourceful in teaching the children. Children, on the other hand, have to adjust to the new normal of learning where it limits social interaction and elevates the feeling of isolation.
How distance learning impacts mental health?
· Social Isolation
It is the nature of children to play and interact with their friends. Having friends in school makes them feel special and important. Doing things together with their pals gets them to be more motivated and interested in learning.
When Covid-19 pandemic happened, playing and eating with friends were discouraged. Being with them physically has been forbidden yet they must continue their studies no matter the circumstances. Slowly, when everything is starting to sink into the minds of students, they feel more and more anxious and sad. They know that they learn better when they are in a physical school, and they engage with their teachers and classmates.
· Increased Anxiety and Frustration.
Lesson discussions over the Internet can be unbearable for many who struggle with comprehension. The assignments and projects given to students may be a burden to some who have no parental support. It can also be the main cause of frustration to a few students who have no access to the Internet.
Students may also be having anxiety and frustration about their friendships and relationships. Since there is no physical contact, they may feel that they are losing their friends and they are alone in this time of pandemic.
· Distance Learning Exhaustion
With less interaction among teachers and friends, it is easy for students to feel exhaustion in learning. As much as they want to be always online, this is not something that they want to do for 5 hours or more straight. Virtual discussions can cause strain in the eyes and back. Since students cannot clearly catch on the tones and expressions of their teachers and classmates, it becomes harder for them to communicate better. It drains their brain and body all at the same time.
It is hard to imagine how the students can cope up to all these changes in a short period of time. Being isolated, fearful, and worrisome because of Covid-19 pandemic makes them more susceptible to emotional and mental breakdown. No matter how high quality the distance learning programs are, they cannot compete with the happiness of being in a physical classroom.
How to help your students cope up with distance learning?
· Encourage them to stay healthy.
A healthy mind starts with a healthy body. Parents and teachers should work together in encouraging students to eat healthy, get enough exercise and sleep to boost their energy and mood. They need to be aware that now where everything is done virtually, they have less time to do physical activities. Their minds and bodies become idle and may result in poor health.
Eating healthy food and doing exercise can be very easy for children but keeping their minds free from fear and confusion can be a daunting task. There are institutions that offer psychological services such as family therapy, child psychology and cognitive behavioral therapy near me for those who are in Riverside, California, Corona, California and Los Angeles, California.
They may sound too intimidating but they can make a significant difference into your children’s life. These services will help your children understand and accept the reality of distance learning.
· Designate their own learning space.
Even if they are at home, parents should allot a learning space for them to attend their classes and do their school work. The place should be free from distractions. It should be well-lit and far from noise. It should mimic a real classroom where it promotes better learning experience.
· Let them talk to someone that can help.
Students, especially the young ones, can have a hard time expressing their feelings – feelings that are new to them. They, themselves, cannot fully grasp their emotions and behavior. Distance learning can stir up emotions in students that they do not know what to do.
As parents and teachers, you want to give the best to the children. However, there are instances that require guidance and expertise from professionals. Mindshift Psychological Services has a team of experts that are willing to lend a hand. They provide top-of-the-line mental health services such as Individual Psychotherapy and Group Therapy near me for residents in Riverside, California, Corona, California and Los Angeles, California.
Giving therapy near me to your children is the best help you can give to them as they adjust to this big change. It is not the end of anything. This is just a start of letting them understand that change is not bad at all.
Start your session with us. Contact us at this number (714) 584-9700 to schedule an appointment.