Study shows some high school athletes suffering from depression, anxiety due to COVID-19

Posted at 3:49 PM, Oct 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-05 14:09:23-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Certain student-athletes around Hampton Roads have not been able to compete and have had limited ability to practice due to COVID-19.

A new study highlights some of the problems it has caused.

"We have had the longest off-season in the history of the world right now," said Lyndsey Boyce, the Athletic Director at Catholic High School in Virginia Beach. "We keep telling these kids it's temporary, but how temporary? We're going on six months now where they haven't played a game as a team or put on their school uniform. You know, those things are important to kids."

Boyce said the student-athletes have been weightlifting, working on speed, agility and basic skills, but have not participated in games or competitions due to COVID. She said she believes it's taking a toll on many of the students.

At first, when asked, many of the kids will say they are OK or doing well. But, she said, when you sit down with them and really ask them how they are feeling, many are upset and frustrated by the current situation.

She said it's hard to quantify feelings of anxiety, depression or if a kid is struggling in school, which makes it easy to dismiss.

A recent study was completed by UW Health and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. They said they surveyed high school athletes all over the country.

They said the study was completed by a team of physicians, child health experts and researchers, and suggests that the cancellation of youth sports since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a significant toll on the mental health and well-being of adolescents.

It found that more than two-thirds of high school athletes report anxiety and depression since the pandemic began in March.

"What is going to be the ripple effects of all this for our kids? Because I think it's going to be a little greater than we anticipated," Boyce said.