Socializing through the social networks: The young people and the challenges on the mental health in times of pandemic


Limited physical contacts, new ways of socialization, online learning, fear, and uncertainty about the future… These are some of the challenges that the young people have faced during the global COVID-19 crisis. For some, it meant more time for themselves, but for others, it meant difficult everyday life. Individually, each of the young people accepted the world health crisis differently.

Georgi Mihailov, creator of the Razgovor.mk application/ Photo Credit: Personal Archive

“The depression, the burnout, and the stress will be the most widespread challenges that future generations will be facing. However, the progressiveness that is characteristic for the young people has always brought positive changes and I am certain that the stigma and the taboos around mental health will vanish quickly. I believe that similarly to having the option to subscribe to Netflix, in future there will be offers for subscriptions to similar services as ours and everyone will have access to professional support in real-time, wherever throughout the world,” said for Meta.mk Georgi Mihailov, the creator of the Razgovor.mk platform, that is offering online conversations with psychologists.

Mihailov explains that if a picture can be painted based on the reactions to their announcements and published articles, the results indicate that the young people in the society are most often facing anxiety, panic attacks, problems in their relations and similar challenges.

So far, many have encouraged themselves to make the first step towards the improvement of the mental health through this platform, and the user’s age limit is from 18 to 65 years.

“The users most often will start with correspondence and with the gradual gaining of trust and with the realization of the values  of the conversation with a psychologist, they are continuing either with audio or video sessions. So far, over 800 sessions were held on the platform and 60% of those people are at the age between 23 and 33,” said Mihailov.

Young Ivana Stojanovska has decided to take a one-year sabbatical after finishing high school and has decided to focus on her physical and mental health. For her, in her own words, initially, the pandemic had a positive influence, but then also a negative influence, for the same reason – being alone with oneself.

Ivana Stojanovska / Photo Credit: Personal Archive

“Initially, the pandemic had some sort of positive influence on me, the previous year when I was in high school was physically demanding for me, and mentally demanding, as well, due to the constant obligations, but also because of my ambition to reach the maximum and “search for perfection” that exerted a physical and mental toll on me,” Stojanovska says.

She is hoping that the world will have a better understanding of terminology such as clinical depression, panic attack and general mental disorder as true problems and not as a momentary condition.

This young girl has spent the last few months reading books, writing poetry, studying new scientific researches, cleaning her home and discovering her cooking abilities in the kitchen. She is socializing mainly through social networks such as Instagram, Facebook and sometimes through telephone calls and messages.

Antonio Beshliev, who is a student at the Faculty of Security in Skopje, says that “luckily a large scope of alternatives for functioning and socialization has opened up that they have provided the desired effect.” In the period when close contacts with people are limited, Beshliev is using social networks, but also live contact,s by obeying the protective measures.

“Definitely what I miss most is the hanging out with an unlimited number of people, but also the people’s tranquility, because there is enormous fear and even panic among us.” said Beshliev for Meta.mk.

In moments when the emotional distress overcomes, Beshliev says that what helps him a lot are the walks in the park or strolls with his closest friends, because “nostalgic thoughts arrive after hanging out and the adventures with these people.”

This student is adamant that the pandemic has contributed to positive changes, out of which the most significant is the free time that could be used for personal improvement.

The World Health Organization since last May has warned about the threat of a global crisis on the mental health caused by the coronavirus. The UN’s Secretary-General, The UN’s Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres also issued a call on the governments, the civil society, and the health authorities urgently to respond to the citizens’ mental health needs.

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