Canadian youth have been having a difficult time maintaining positive mental health as social isolation continues. The feeling of being disconnected from others has caused some youth to have heightened social anxiety, feelings of loneliness, and to be lacking motivation.
The loss of extracurricular activities, such as sports and school clubs, have left many youth feeling lost and without places where they can meet new people, try new things, and be themselves. The declining mental health of Canadian youth may not come as new information, as youth mental health has been worsening since the initial lockdown in Spring 2020. As isolation continues, parents have been worried about their youth, who are missing out on social environments and milestones that support proper development in their adolescent years.
Youth are being encouraged to stay connected with their peers through phone or video calls, online game nights, online movie nights, or physically distanced time outdoors. Although this is not the same as social interactions used to be, youth are being encouraged to adapt as much as possible until they are once again able to be in close proximity with their out-of-household loved ones. Caregivers are being encouraged to support youth as much as possible during this time by encouraging their virtual social interactions and starting conversations about mental health, confessing their own vulnerabilities as well to let youth know they are not alone.