REDDING, Calif. - About a year into this crippling pandemic, the CDC says 25% of young adults say they've seriously considered suicide. The CDC also reports, 63% of 18-to-24-year-olds experienced anxiety or depression because of the pandemic.
Almost one year later, Hailey Bamford of Anderson is still feeling mental stress.
“I've had a lot going with a loss of my friends and stuff because we haven't been able to hang out as much and that's been not as good,” Bamford said.
It’s Bamford’s first year of college, but she feels like she’s missing out.
“I was really involved in high school,” Bamford explained. “I had a bunch of clubs and stuff that I was in, so I was interacting with people all the time.”
“There's a lot of grief and loss about not getting that typical experience that people plan to have when they're finishing high school going off to college,” Nicole Smith said, a psychological counselor at Shasta College.
Smith said loneliness, disconnect, and uncertainty are what many young adults are feeling.
“A lot of what I’m seeing with our students is that they're having this grief response to the fact they're not able to just go and be on campus,” Smith said. “Go to groups or pop into meetings or hang out in the cafeteria all those kinds of things."
But for Josh Oessinger of Palo Cedro, work is a good distraction.
“Now that I’m working, I've been able to make a lot of friends and meet a lot of cool people,” Oessinger said.
Smith said some of the best ways to cope include focusing on what you can control, keeping a routine, and staying connected on social media.
Smith also said people who are struggling should reach out for help.
“If you can get to somebody to talk, it's going to decrease the chance of suicide,” Smith said. “It will decrease the chance of substance use as well.”
Shasta College offers telehealth services for its students. They also have a list of additional mental health resources.