Challenge 4: Increased loneliness and impaired mental health

  /    /  Challenge 4: Increased loneliness and impaired mental health

The students have not only experienced reduced affiliation with fellow students and the school. Studies also show that the decreased social contact has led to impaired mental health, and more loneliness among the students. A sample survey in Oslo among young people between 16 and 19 years shows that the loneliness in this age group has been higher than the average for the entire population, throughout the pandemic.

  • In the case of Barcelona, a survey about the health state of teenagers in the city, showed that the main difficulties they experienced during the pandemic of Covid-19 were reducing social relationships and maintaining healthy habits like physical activity, nutrition or the number of recommended sleeping hours. It is important to highlight that according to the same survey, 16% of girls between 13 and 19 years declared feeling lonely during 2020. During the hardest part of the pandemic and during school closure, schools developed a more personalized follow-up by tutors or psycho-pedagogic counselors with the most vulnerable pupils (such as frequent phone calls, video calls or emotional support). In many cases this implied a stronger bond with students who would have been more ignored or neglected under normal conditions. However, once schools opened again, schools restarted normal activities and personal attention was reduced.


Policy 4.1 Support programs to mental health (with the Public Health Agency of Barcelona)  [Barcelona]

Goals of the program 

Accompanying educational establishments in a transformation process with respect to emotional accompaniment through positive and restorative management of relations and conflict 

To generate a shift in the focus on the management of cohabitation in the educational centre for welfare throughout the educational community


Public Schools of Pla de Barris (a program to aid vulnerable neighbourhoods) at all stages of compulsory education, and all agents: teachers, pupils, and educational community.


Mental health circuit


The project is based on accompaniment to the management in the organization so that a restorative look can be implemented across all intervention spaces in school. This involves supporting and supporting management to include the educational community in the process of change, setting objectives and methodologies appropriate to the needs detected, training, participation in the design of interventions, evaluation, and monitoring. It also aims to promote structural changes in the school from the Coexistence Plan, the management plan, or others considered appropriate.   

As far as students are concerned, the program’s professionals will perform co-teaching sessions in classrooms on a programmed basis and seek the transfer of knowledge in the subjects that educational teams have formed.  

It is also intended to facilitate networking, and this has been done, for example, by disseminating the mental health plan of the Barcelona City Council and by publishing a map of resources available to educational centres.


Barcelona Council

Achievement / Criticalities

Haven’t been done yet

Possible negative implications 

Not expected