COVID Restrictions Still Causing Issues in School

For many students, the daily frustration around various necessary precautions can prove challenging at PMHS. Here are some of the obstacles students are encountering this school year.


Another year of fully masked students in school means another year of students struggling to make connections and a potential rise in mental health issues.

As we slowly come down from the more aggressive transmission of COVID-19 that we experienced last year, we notice changes in our society. One of these major changes being the effect it has on our youth. Many people of the younger generation have had underlying issues that were brought to light by the challenging environment made by the pandemic. Reports of higher anxiety levels and symptoms of depression amongst kids have risen over the years.

Another common feeling was loneliness. People felt isolated, like they could not fully express their issues to others. Jenna White, an eleventh grader, said that it made her feel stressed that she couldn’t see others; Paige Hillebrand, a senior, went a bit more in depth saying, “The effect that COVID had on my mental health was a lot. It put a lot of things around me in perspective, but it felt lonely, confusing, and overwhelming. There was so much change going on, it made it hard to know how to react and difficult to figure out what to do with myself.” Students are struggling under the ever-changing issues of our world and how we deal with this virus. 

This, however, brings up a new question: how is our school handling the student’s mental health. One of our school counselors, Mrs. Romani, was kind enough to answer some of our questions. Mrs. Romani talked about the different staff available during the day – nine counselors, three psychologists, and four social workers. There is also one person always available for crisis meetings.

They have also started an Instagram page, @empoweringminds_pm, for students who might be struggling but are not necessarily in crisis. They also take on a different topics each month to highlight mental health issues and give tips and strategies to cope with them.

To go along with this, the Guidance Department formed a club also called “Empowering Minds”, for those who feel they are struggling. The first meeting will be Friday, October 1stGuidance plans to host an assembly for students to meet some of the people working there. These counselors will also be coming into classes every once and a while to talk to students and teach them about healthy coping mechanisms. 

 Despite this some concerns still linger. I, myself had to reschedule my meeting to even talk to Mrs. Romani twice because counselors are inundated with scheduling meetings. Others have expressed their concerns about if the school is doing enough for the students’ well-being.

Sydney Rooney, a senior that goes here, said the school was doing an okay job, that it is hard to know what to do because of how new this was but that they could have done more for us. Many kids do not even know about the options Guidance offers, and those that do will sometimes choose not to use them because they feel it might worsen their situation.

One student I talked to, that would prefer to stay anonymous, told me about how they went to meet a counselor for a crisis meeting and did not get the chance to meet with a counselor after waiting. This leaves us questioning that there is still more work that needs to be done in order to support all the students in our building.