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Return to In-Person Learning Has Caused Mental Health Problems for NJ Students, Counselors Say


Students have anxiety over a return to the normal school routine, says a panel of counselors

The return to in-person schooling has been rocky for many students in New Jersey.

Chalkbeat reporter Catherine Carrera sat in on a virtual panel of school counselors run by the Latino Mental Health Association of New Jersey.

“They’re seeing a lot of students come in with anxiety, depression and just recovering from some traumatic experiences that they had during the pandemic, whether that was loss of family members,” she said.

“They found (students had) anxiety around going to bed at a certain time and having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night and then having to wake up in time in the morning,” said Carrera.

She did say though that counselors are encouraged by being able to see students in person, and being able to help each other. And they had another positive change to report, Carrera said.

“One really important shift that took place is the stigma around seeking help from your counselor, your school counselor, so there’s been more of a conversation about mental health,” she said.

Janice Kirkel is a lifelong award-winning journalist who has done everything from network newscasts to national and local sports reports to business newscasts to specialized reporting and editing in technical areas of business and finance such as bankruptcy, capital structure changes and reporting on the business of the investment business.