The Impact of COVID-19 on Youth Mental Health

The effect of the coronavirus pandemic on a wide variety of things is still unknown, there is so much we can only speculate- that people had a rough time with their mental health during lockdown is not one.

The CDC surveyed high school students about their mental health during the lockdown, and the results are unsettling. It seems as though teen mental health was struggling even before the pandemic, however, the effects of the lockdown seem to have exacerbated the already growing problem.

The CDC reports that 37% of high school students reported that they experienced poor mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 44% reported they persistently felt sad or hopeless during the past year.

More reports include:

  • 55% reported they experienced emotional abuse by a parent or other adult in the home
  • 11% experienced physical abuse by a parent or other adult in the home
  • 29% reported that a parent or other home adult lost a job.
  • 36% of students said they experienced racism before or during the pandemic


The CDC defines emotional abuse as being sworn at, insulted, or put down. More than half of these high school students that were surveyed reported themselves as having gone through emotional abuse.

That is truly an unnerving amount of teens that were/are being emotionally abused in their homes, especially during one of the most difficult times in anyone’s life. These teens missed their entire high school experience, with no dances, sports events, and for some no graduation, the only social life they had was in their home and for more than half it was abusive.

The more diverse we get into the reporting the more troubling it becomes, with female youth and LGBTQ+ youth reporting even greater levels of poor mental health, emotional abuse by a parent or caregiver, and having attempted suicide than their counterparts.

The CDC states that youth with poor mental health may struggle with school and grades, decision making, and their health with increased risk of drug use, experiencing violence, and higher risk sexual behaviors. 

Being a teenager is hard enough already, and their mental health crisis has been heightened to new levels with the help of COVID-19. Everyone can struggle with their mental health from time to time, what is important is that you learn and use social-emotional life skills to continue to push forward.

Rock Digi is an online curriculum that uses social-emotional learning and music to teach students the skills they need to strengthen their mental health. Skills that are more important now than ever before like dealing with grief and loss, anger management, and having empathy for others.

Rock Digi features music in every lesson to help kids gain a deeper understanding of the material and to make their learning fun and enjoyable.


For the CDC report:


Rock Digi has sample lessons that can be viewed at as well as lesson preview videos available on our YouTube Channel – Pat McManus Rock In Prevention.

Click the link below to visit our Linktree to learn more about the Rock Digi program.

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Make sure to check out the music used in the Rock Digi curriculum on our YouTube channel, Spotify, Apple Music, or wherever you listen to music. Below are links to where to find our music.

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