Revelstoke Grade 7 students participated in a survey that questioned how the pandemic has impacted them . (Josh Piercey/Revelstoke Review)

Revelstoke Grade 7 students participated in a survey that questioned how the pandemic has impacted them . (Josh Piercey/Revelstoke Review)

How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting Revelstoke students’ mental health?

Findings from the Middle Years Development Instrument by UBC

According to a recent survey, 21 per cent of Grade 7 students in Revelstoke always feel safe from getting COVID-19 because of the safety measures put in place at their school.

Five per cent of students said they never feel safe.

In June, a number of Grade 7 students in Revelstoke answered questions about the affects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on their mental health. The results of the survey were provided to the school board this week.

The Middle Years Development Instrument, done by the Human Early Learning Partnership team at the University of British Columbia, provided insight into the impact the pandemic has had on students, particularly how it has affected their personal relationships.

District 19 was one of two districts in B.C. to participate in the project.

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A total of 58 Revelstoke students responded to the survey, 52 per cent of which were male, 43 per cent female and 9 per cent who identified in another way.

More than half of students who responded to the survey said they were worried about their mental or emotional health being influenced by the pandemic.

39 per cent reported being slightly or somewhat worried, with 12 per cent saying they were very or extremely worried, the rest reported not being worried at all.

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Students had varying responses to their feelings about abiding by COVID-19 restrictions and safety regulations.

73 per cent of students said it was a little easy or very easy to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer and 80 per cent said it was a little or very easy to stay home from school when sick.

In contrast, only 52 per cent of students said it was a little or very easy to wear a mask and only 37 per cent said it was a little or very easy to practice physical distancing. 31 per cent of kids said it was a little hard or very hard to avoid big groups.

When reflecting on positive changes brought on by the pandemic, 63 per cent of students said they were happy with spending more time with their family and 54 per cent said they enjoyed having more time to themselves.

Field trips, class parties and school sports clubs topped the list of activities kids missed about what they used to be able to do before the pandemic.

The District 19 school board reacted to the results by pointing out the silver linings of the responses, but acknowledging the concerns of the children, noting their efforts to not be complacent moving forward.

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