How are the Students Doing? An Investigation of Nova Scotian Youth Mental Well-Being

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Britten, Allison
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Mount Saint Vincent University
How are the students doing? Of particular concern during the Coronavirus global pandemic, mental health crises are occurring worldwide, affecting individuals in a variety of ways. The objective of this study was to provide a starting point of descriptive statistics and descriptive qualitative representation of students’ voices to understand how the students are doing. In an effort to promote youth MWB, the current study sought to answer: 1. How does selfreported Mental Well-Being vary across participants’ identities both from within school and general life self-reports? 2. What are youth’s experiences coping with the global pandemic in relation to their MWB? We anticipated that Nova Scotian youth would report low levels of MWB, specifically in relation to the ongoing global pandemic. Participants consisted of 29 Nova Scotian youth between the ages of 16 and 19 years old, who were registered in a Nova Scotia high school. The survey included the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale (WEMWBS) and qualitative questions to capture student experiences. Results of WEMWBS highlighted that although some Nova Scotian students are doing well, there are many students who reported not doing well. Qualitative findings demonstrate that students are experiencing emotional distress, and signs of lower levels of mental well-being, in many domains of their lives. As anticipated, overall findings suggest that not all students are doing okay during the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has created significant stressors and barriers to basic psychological needs for MWB. Our youth are not doing okay and we can do better to support them.
Mental health, student well being, pandemic, Covid-19