It’s hard to find a portion of society not negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.


One demographic being hit especially hard is teenagers who are struggling with the effects of isolation.


"COVID-19 isolation has a greater impact on teens, partially due to normal changes, as well as the need to be with their peers, being social and having a routine," said Sarah Lewakowski, executive director of Mosaic Counseling.


"Suicidal thoughts have been associated with social isolation, loneliness and especially hopelessness."


Lewakowski offers the following tips on helping teens cope during this time:



It is important to notice how we, as adults, are reacting to the pandemic. Teen and children take their cues from us. If we are obsessed with watching the news, anxious, upset, etc., they are more likely to feel those feelings, too.


Teens are missing out on many traditions that they have been waiting for – graduation, prom, sports, etc. Be compassionate, empathetic and listen. Validate their feelings. Ask how to support them. Listen some more.


Create as much structure as possible – family meals, virtual school, physical exercise, family games. There are many ideas online for things for families to do.


Realize that they do need time to interact with their peers on social media or the phone.


Don’t leave the news on.


Watch what you say to other adults that young people in the house can hear.


Share stories of hope.


Make plans and talk about them for life after social isolation.


It is important for teens to know that almost everything is fixable.


It is important for teens to know that there is a big world out there of opportunities, not only after high school but after COVID-19.


Try to create a feeling in the household of hope and positivity. This is an opportunity to interact with your teen like you have never been able to before. You will learn new things about them and they should learn new things about you.

Mosaic Counseling has a panel of 75 therapists available to the community.


"We do not turn anyone away," Lewakowski said.


Mosaic is starting to offer virtual QPR, beginning with one before the Town Hall Meeting on Mental Health Monday from 5-6 p.m. Call Mosaic Counseling to register.


Call 616-842-9160 to be referred to a therapist, or visit mosaiccounseling.com for more information.