"This is the age when [young adults] are going to college and finding employment," Marafino told CNA. "This is one of their first experiences with independent living, and they are managing a pandemic most likely on their own."
"This would cause significant mental/emotional distress. They may feel their lives are on hold or delayed, and do not know when they can 'resume their lives,'" he said.
Sophia Swinford, the founder of Catholic Mental Health, a nonprofit organization aiming to increase awareness and access to mental health resources for Catholics, told CNA that she is concerned that the stigma surrounding suicide prevents people, particularly those of a religious faith, from getting help.
"It's ironic--'stigma' comes from a word that refers to a mark or brand on a slave, and it is from this word that we get 'stigmata,'" said Swinford. "So maybe it is precisely the 'stigma' around these people's sufferings that should make it clear we are called to serve Christ in them."
Swinford called the rates of suicide and suicidal idelation a "social failure."
"We as a society have failed those individuals, and it's about time we start to give serious discernment to how we can change that," she said.
Both Tighe and Marafino told CNA that they believe it is important to reach out to one another during this time.
"We need to talk to each other and see how people are doing," said Marafino. "We live in a time when we have technology to be in consistent contact with each other."
Spirituality plays a role in mental health as well.
People need to "pray for each other like everything depends on it," said Tighe. He also suggested that people facing stress set aside time to "pause, breathe, pray, medidate," and to take note of their feelings without judgment.
Tighe suggested taking a break from media and other settings that heighten anxiety is also important.
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"Remember to take breaks from upsetting content," Tighe added.
"Social media really works against us. If we're trying to work on our anxiety, we need to pay attention to the impact it is having on us and take breaks when needed."