International Youth Day just went by on 12th August 2020. The theme for Youth Day this year was From Local to Global – Youth taking Action. Youth has been recognized as one of the most powerful forces in our society. The populace most affected by the Coronavirus lockdown has been the youth of the world.

Suddenly, there is no school, no colleges, no parties, no travel, no bag packing and no plans! Graduating students of 2020 had to have it virtual. What can be more disappointing than that?

Added to this, in India specifically, youth who are graduating in 2020 are facing great stress. The Supreme Court is yet to give its decision on holding exams. The Delhi and Maharashtra State Governments have ruled out conducting exams! They say it is too risky to expose students, faculty and staff to the Coronavirus. We have large numbers and social distancing is going to be very difficult to achieve. The University Grants Commission which is the degree-awarding body states only it has the power to award degrees and exams must be held. Simply passing everyone will not be equitable.

In the middle of this are stuck the youth with stress and anxiety. They have concerns about their careers, future and everything else. Their patience is running out. How can youth tackle these mental health issues?

Firstly, be kind to yourself and set small goals. Secondly, create a daily activity sheet. It’s important to get physical exercise within the home itself. You should also have a network of friends. You may reach out to your college or School counselor. You may also call on helplines to share your fears.

This is also a time for upgrading and upskilling. Join many of these free online courses and seminars to learn more. You can also find a mentor. Try starting a new creative hobby like sketching.

Don’t forget to reach out to NAMI INDIA.