Sixteen-year-old Charlotte Engrav used to get panic attacks when she was at school.
“I’d go to school and daily panic attacks would make it almost impossible for me to be in the classroom,” she wrote to The Seattle Times. “I’d walk down the stairs in passing periods and find myself unable to balance on my feet.”
For Charlotte, the coronavirus pandemic and forced school closures offered a welcome break from the anxiety.
“I haven’t had a single panic attack,” she wrote. “The news is scary, but being at home has given me the time to find ways to cope with that fear. I’m trying to incorporate more mindfulness into everything I do, from classwork to walks through the ravine near my house.”
This pandemic has affected every student differently. For some, like Charlotte, it’s a chance to reflect. For others, it’s a cause of stress: Will I graduate on time? How do I stay motivated? Will my family be safe?
And for many students, it means a lack of access to the mental health resources they usually have through school — whether through in-school clinics, caring adults or social support networks. What happens when those go away?
K-12 students, we want to know how prolonged school closures are affecting your mental health so our news coverage can better reflect your experiences. Share your thoughts below, and a journalist might reach out to you.