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How Zoom and social isolation are challenging the mental health of America’s teens

How are the pandemic, social isolation and remote learning affecting mental health among adolescents? Our Student Reporting Labs teamed up with Well Beings, a public media reporting initiative, to find out. Using a unique back-to-school curriculum, student reporters recorded video diaries documenting this historic year as it unfolds. Here is a sample of their experiences, in their own words.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    And before we go, we wanted to let you know about a very important conversation online tonight hosted by Amna Nawaz, teens, COVID, and coping.

    Our Student Reporting Labs teamed up with Well Beings. It's a public media reporting initiative to explore how the pandemic, quarantine and remote learning are affecting adolescent mental health.

    Here's a preview.

  • Hania:

    I mean, I have always struggled with my mental health, but it's been more prominent than ever.

    Having to combine the negative thoughts that clutter this space with the stress from classes is just the perfect mix for a disaster, if I am being honest.

  • Daijah:

    I feel like I'm trapped within my own mind. No one can hear me. I feel like no one knows who I am. I don't like this feeling.

  • Lily:

    Freshman year is something that's always given me anxiety, so not having a social life honestly isn't that horrible for a more introverted person such as myself.

  • Julian:

    School and my home life is basically one and the same. So, I really miss when you used to — school would just end, and, boom, you could come back home and chillax.

  • Francie:

    While I'm trying to stay optimistic, I'm still anxious about what will happen next. I plan to go to school a few days a week for a hybrid learning situation, but things change so fast that I honestly don't know what will happen.

  • Simon:

    You never really realize how long a day is until you go back to school again, and you are wearing a face mask, and you can barely talk to anyone, and it's just you and your brain. And it's pretty rough.

  • Shelby:

    I struggle with anxiety and depression. And I do suffer with mental health issues.

    Someone listening and having that love, support and encouragement is appreciated. And I think that's what I want or sort of need right now.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Such an important conversation. Tune in and join the conversation. It's 8:00 p.m. Eastern tonight. Visit WellBeings.org.

Listen to this Segment