Students’ Mental Health Concerns Amidst Their Academic Difficulties During Pandemic
The mental health of learners is vital in ensuring that they cope and learn in times of pandemic. Currently, the number of people suffering from mental health problems is growing, especially with the global increase of Coronavirus disease cases. The psychological issues due to the pandemic have rapidly compounded the public’s health burden (Torales et al., 2020). Several research studies have established the increase in the prevalence of self-reported depressive and anxiety symptoms of individuals due to the Covid-19 disease (Wang, et al., 2020). Barkham’s (2019) findings on the challenges of knowledge acquisition caused by mental health issues, and the presence of total physical, mental, and social well-being theory of the World Health Organization (1948) were used as the frameworks of this study, to assess the mental health situations and academic difficulties of learners in times of pandemic. A total of 1,076 elementary to senior high school students, with their parents’ consent, from a private university in Cabanatuan City participated in this study. Data gathered through Google form survey were analyzed using weighted mean, ANOVA, and T-test. Results revealed that the respondents experienced mental health concerns brought by the numerous deaths due to the Covid-19 pandemic; anxiety caused by unstable internet connection; fear of not learning using modules; and strict implementation of checkpoints. The students’ academic difficulties were due to lack of internet connections; frequent power interruptions; and teachers’ inability to foresee the learners’ diversity in online learning. A significant difference was established in the mental health concerns of the learners according to their sex, age, and department levels. At the same time, their academic difficulties varied according to their age and department levels. A proposed program was designed as the output of the study.