Student Mental Health During the Pandemic: Educator and Teen Perspectives

Research Rundown Issue: April '21
Publisher: Education Week
Date Published: March '21


A nationally representative survey of 2,000 high school students examined students’ views on a wide range of issues connected to mental health, including their experiences, problems, and relationships. More than 70% of students—and more than 75% of Black and Latino students—indicated that they were having more issues in school than before the pandemic, with students who were in distance or hybrid indicating that they were having more challenges than students in-person. The researchers also compared their findings with surveys on how teachers are interpreting their students’ well-being and found significant gaps in what they reported as going either well or poorly. About two-thirds of teachers indicated that their students’ state of mind was more negative than before the pandemic, while only 37% of students said that they felt that way. Furthermore, 86% of principals said that their schools offered more mental health supports, whereas only two-thirds of students agreed.

Why This Matters in Minnesota

When we talk about COVID-19 recovery, it’s critical to focus on both academic acceleration and support for social-emotional health. As schools receive their ARP funds, they should make sure that they are including families, students, and educators in their decision-making to ensure this is done effectively, and not solely based on pre-pandemic needs or educator assumptions about student needs. EdAllies has been working with a coalition that has been advocating to ensure that Commissioner Mueller uses state ARP dollars to invest in targeted and culturally responsive mental health support, early literacy programs, and support for students with disabilities and English Learners.

Explore the survey