The Effect of the Pandemic on Students Mental Health

When the pandemic begun, students had to shift their lives from face to face lectures to remote learning. Challenges like, internet connection, time management and your family constantly distracting you are some of the things students are currently struggling with but, the biggest challenge has been mental health.


At the beginning of the global pandemic there were a lot of emergency changes that had to be made to ensure that people remain as safe as possible through these uncertain times. One of the biggest changes that were implemented was remote learning. 

The pandemic resulted in students having to move their studies from face-to-face lectures to online classes. 

Being in lockdown for just over a year many universities and colleges have adopted a hybrid learning system allowing for a smaller amount of students to attend face-to-face classes and combing them with online classes. This system is likely to remain until the country reaches it's point of immunity.

One of the biggest concerns about online learning is the challenges that come with it. This includes challenges like:

  • Internet connection
  • Mental health
  • Personal challenges/ability
  • Time management
  • Being easily distracted
  • Family members making studying difficult
  • The interaction between lecturers and student

Many student have stated that their biggest challenge of remote learning is coping with mental health and struggling to remain motivated. 

Students have been experiencing high levels of stress, anxiety and depression, as they are given large amounts of work with minimal explanation and interaction. Many students have explained that they struggle remain focused without being able to interact with peers and lecturers. 

The stress of university and college, on top of the stress about the pandemic and the state of the world can create high levels of anxiety for students.

In South Africa another issue is female students having to learn in abusive environments, as gender based violence plagues over the women of South Africa. Stay-at-home learning has exposed many women to dangerous and challenging situations. 

The pandemic has proven how much we rely on each other for assistance in university and college . Being completely stripped of that assistance can take a toll on you mental health and your academic performance.

Though self-directed learning is necessary for success, many students come from households that don't have easy access to internet connections and learning devices, like laptops and computers. The stress of a students education being nearly inaccessible to them makes it extremely difficult to cope with their mental health and studies at the same time. 

Mental health has always been an ongoing concern amongst students but, in combination with the pandemic, students are suffering. 

Universities and colleges across the world are developing a system that is more appropriate for the current situation of the world,  taking into account that students are having a difficult time with their mental health, remaining motivated and keeping up their academic performance. Students need mental health support.

If you are struggling with mental health issues contact the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG). 

SADAG Contact details:

To contact their counsellor between 8am-8pm Monday to Sunday,
Call: 011 234 4837

For a suicidal Emergency: 0800 567 567

24hr Helpline: 0800 456 789

For a more in-depth insight read the original article here.

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