4 students share their story : NPR

Photo collage by LA Johnson/NPR

Mental health during the pandemic.

Photo collage by LA Johnson/NPR

At this point in the pandemic, American teens have spent a significant chunk of their formative years isolated from friends and in fractured learning environments. More than 2 in 5 teens have reported persistently feeling sad or hopeless, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey of high school students. Many who were already struggling with trauma or mental health problems before the pandemic were deeply affected by the prolonged isolation.

But young people have also shown grace and resilience as they dealt with the challenges of COVID-19. NPR spoke to four high school students who marked the pandemic’s two year anniversary with a newfound sense of self, and big dreams for the future.

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (en español: 1-888-628-9454; deaf and hard of hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

Ruby, 17: “I left a toxic friendship, I explored myself more.”

By the time the pandemic closed her school in March 2020, Ruby had already spent weeks trying to ignore her mom’s warnings about COVID-19. Her mom is Chinese, and their relatives back in China had been updating her on the virus’ spread since its early days. Ruby says when her spring break got extended, her mom told her: “Oh yeah, you won’t be going back to school anytime soon.”

At first, remote learning heightened a lot of the anxieties Ruby already felt about her Minnetonka, Minn. high school. She transferred there in the fall of 2019 and was struggling to feel like she fit in because many of her new classmates came from wealthier families. NPR isn’t using Ruby’s last name to protect her privacy.

“It was just something I was worrying about constantly,” she said. “I was afraid to even move in class. I was just, like, sitting there, and I did not move because I was so anxious about what they were thinking about me.”

When school went online, Ruby, then a freshman, was self-conscious about showing her house on camera. She also had a hard time finding a quiet place to concentrate as her two siblings also switched to remote learning – she would often lose focus during Zoom class. During remote school, she says, “I didn’t learn anything.”

Ruby wasn’t the only one. In the first several months of the pandemic, two-thirds of U.S. students in grades nine through 12 told the CDC reported difficulty completing their schoolwork.

"I would say [the pandemic] has definitely made me a stronger person." - Ruby, 17
"I would say [the pandemic] has definitely made me a stronger person." - Ruby, 17

One upside to remote school was that it put some distance between Ruby and a friendship that she describes as toxic.

“She was the only person I really knew, so I kind of felt safe around her,” Ruby explains. “But at the same time, I didn’t really feel so safe because the people who she hung out with were not my people.”

Things changed for the better during Ruby’s sophomore year, when

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Town of Ferris will present free of charge health care to all its residents

The town of Ferris in Ellis County has accepted a strategy to provide no cost standard health care to each and every one of its citizens.

The city suggests it will not only strengthen the wellbeing of its citizens but also the overall health of its systems.

It is not governing administration health care. People will not be asked nearly anything about insurance policies or revenue.

It is the to start with municipality in Texas, and possibly the nation, to determine out a way to aid get just about every resident health care consideration at no cost to them.

“It will transform health care in Ferris,” reported Metropolis Manager Brooks Williams. “We imagine it is a product that other towns and counties can use.”

‘Access For All’ was approved by Ferris Metropolis Council Monday night.

“Which is gonna present simple telemedicine and virtual visits together with a cellular element to every solitary citizen that resides in our town limits,” Williams said.

The notion of cost-free fundamental health care to all is coming out of the city’s response to COVID-19 when it partnered to stand up a monoclonal antibody remedy heart.

“We have provided monoclonal antibodies to all of the citizens of Ellis County in the course of the COVID pandemic,” claimed MD Overall health Pathways President Dr. Dirk Perritt. “We treated around 4,000 patients in the county.”

MD Pathways will use whole-time and agreement health professionals, nurses and paramedics to deliver simple health care to people who simply call Ferris residence.

“We want to give that accessibility to healthcare that maybe doesn’t need to have the stage of care at an crisis office,” Dr. Perritt explained. “But because almost nothing else is open, which is wherever you seek out your care.”

Ferris sits in Ellis County and is just one of 60 Texas counties with no a general public health section.

“We had six suicides in our town in excess of the past year. That is 50% throughout the full county,” Williams mentioned. “We care about our folks. We want to offer a psychological health and fitness component to this and a physical health part. We’ve bought 40% of our populace that is less than or uninsured.”

Williams states free of charge access for all can spend off in other means.

For illustration, Ferris faculties get $35 a working day from the point out for each individual university student in course.

“Our ISD averages about 110 little ones absent for every day,” Williams reported. “If we can make a 25% effects on that, that’s $200,000 to our ISD.”

Nearly 20% of 911 calls for

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