Special Issue "Youth Mental Health after COVID-19 Pandemic: Prevention, Innovation and Treatment Projects in Mental Health Services"

A special issue of Medicina (ISSN 1648-9144). This special issue belongs to the section "Psychiatry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2023 | Viewed by 973

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Stefano Marini
Guest Editor
Department of Mental Health, National Health Service, Termoli, Italy
Interests: autism spectrum disorder; psychopharmacology; adolescence; mental health
Dr. Tiziano Acciavatti
Guest Editor
Department of Mental Health, ASL Pescara, Pescara, Italy
Interests: schizophrenia; psychopharmacology; mental health
Dr. Alessandro Gentile
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
ASReM, Termoli, Vasto, Italy
Interests: schizophrenia; bipolar disorder; mental health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Although physical health is understandably the priority during a pandemic, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent measures to protect mental health should be a major concern, particularly for adolescents, as compared to adults, the mental health of young people is often disproportionately affected by disasters.

Furthermore, the developmental characteristics of adolescence along with the psychological vulnerabilities of this stage make adolescence particularly important to study in light of the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

From a worldwide estimate, in the year 2020, between 10 and 20% of adolescents suffered from mental health problems, but in our opinion, few studies have taken into consideration changes in psychopathological aspects, quality of life, hospitalizations due to psychiatric emergencies or suicide attempts in adolescents already suffering from psychiatric disorders, focusing mainly on the use of substances, on anorexia nervosa and obsessive–compulsive disorder. Furthermore, there are no studies on how psychotherapy already underway could have attenuated or stabilized psychopathological conditions or quality of life. New research is needed to fill the gaps in the current research.

Due to dramatic and sudden changes in their lives during the pandemic, thousands of teenagers around the world could still be at risk for psychopathological disorders, creating a mental health “pandemic” scenario. We believe they deserve an inclusive response in terms of global health measures to avert potentially serious and long-lasting effects in terms of marginalization, stigma and psychopathological developments.

The aim of this Special Issue is to receive new proposals, ideas and practices used or to be implemented for the future in order to improve the mental health of current adolescents and young adults.

Prof. Dr. Stefano Marini
Dr. Tiziano Acciavatti
Dr. Alessandro Gentile
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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  • youth mental health
  • multidisciplinary interventions
  • prevention
  • innovations
  • treatment projects
  • multidisciplinary interventions

Published Papers (1 paper)

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12 pages, 957 KiB  
Mental Health and Contraceptive Knowledge in High Schoolers: Comparing Remote and In-Person Learning during COVID-19
Medicina 2023, 59(10), 1876; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59101876 - 22 Oct 2023
Viewed by 778
Background and Objectives: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on education, this study delves into the behavioral, mental health, and sexual education characteristics of high school students during 2020–2021 and 2022–2023. Materials and Methods: We evaluated a variety of factors, [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on education, this study delves into the behavioral, mental health, and sexual education characteristics of high school students during 2020–2021 and 2022–2023. Materials and Methods: We evaluated a variety of factors, including substance use, academic performance, sexual activities, mental health support, pandemic-related anxiety levels, and quality of life indicators using standardized instruments such as the SF-36, GAD-7, and WHOQOL-BREF. Furthermore, we addressed specific questions concerning contraception and sexual education during this period. Results: The questionnaires were filled in by 44 students in 2020–2021 and 41 students in 2022–2023. Significant findings included a noteworthy increase in COVID-19 vaccination rates, from 18.2% in 2020–2021 to 39.0% in 2022–2023 (p = 0.033), enhanced perceptions of mental health support during remote learning, from 7.1% to 20.0% (p = 0.044), and a rise in students partaking in reproductive health discussions from 10.7% to 25.0% (p = 0.046). Additionally, there was a marked decline in anxiety regarding the transition back to in-person learning (p = 0.048). Health surveys, such as the SF-36, signaled improvements in both physical and mental health over the years (p = 0.046 and p = 0.019, respectively), while the GAD-7 scores depicted a considerable reduction in anxiety symptoms (p = 0.038). The WHOQOL-BREF results also highlighted a significant uptick in students’ mental well-being in 2022–2023 (p = 0.039). Conclusions: As the COVID-19 pandemic ended, high school students exhibited shifts in behavior, health, and education over four academic years, particularly in areas of contraceptive knowledge and mental health outcomes. The pronounced enhancements in vaccination rates, perceptions of mental health support, participation in health conversations, and overall mental wellness emphasize the adaptability and resilience of students in these tumultuous periods, and a general increase in contraceptive knowledge and quality of life during the end of the pandemic. Full article
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