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Experts and school leaders see COVID-19, isolation taking toll on students’ mental health

WCPO |

Since coming back from summer break, Mason City Schools has had about 850 alerts for concerning searches or other similar activity on school devices, according to Superintendent Jonathan Cooper.

WCPO – Nov 19, 2020

“‘How do I die?’ Or, ‘does it hurt to die?’ Or, ‘if I’m being abused should I die?’ Those are some of the literal searches we’re seeing come up,” he said.

Last year, the district had 43 students go through an “at-risk assessment,” which means there is increased likelihood that the student is having serious thoughts of suicide.

Just since the beginning of this school year, one racked by COVID-19 closures and uncertainty, 51 students have already gone through that same assessment. Cooper said a major theme they’re seeing in these cases is social isolation.