Mental stress from distance learning observed â expert
In an interview with “The Chiefs” on Cignal TV’s One News, PPA fellow Joan Rifareal said there may be no data yet on the impact of blended learning on mental health, but she observed a rise in consultations.
Philstar.com/Irish Lising
Mental stress from distance learning observed — expert
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - October 18, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Two weeks after classes started under the distance learning system in public schools, an expert from the Philippine Psychiatric Association (PPA) is already seeing signs of mental stress among students and their parents.

In an interview with “The Chiefs” on Cignal TV’s One News, PPA fellow Joan Rifareal said there may be no data yet on the impact of blended learning on mental health, but she observed a rise in consultations.

“There’s been a lot (of consultations), not only from students but also from parents going through rough times, especially those who work from home. They wear a lot of different hats,” Rifareal said.

She said these parents feel “overwhelmed by all the responsibilities” that they face as they have to work at home and teach their children at the same time.

To ease their situation, parents were advised by Rifareal to “maintain a sense of normalcy.”

“It can be really helpful if they set a daily routine, especially for those who work from home. Start (your day) early while the kids are still asleep,” she said.

Jean Goulbourn, founder of Natasha Goulbourn Foundation, said students have also called up their HOPEline (02) 804-HOPE (4673)/0917 558 HOPE (4673) in the past three weeks.

“We’ve been getting calls from students saying they can’t afford the laptops, their parents have no jobs. Little problems but to a student 10 or 14 yeas old, this means a lot,” Goulbourn added.

Rifareal said the uncertainties brought about by the pandemic is also taking its toll on mental health.

“There’s a sense that we are losing control of a lot of things and when this happens… there will be anxiety, worries, depression, distress and trauma,” she said.

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