top of page

Talking about Mental Health during the Pandemic

Mrs Bright is at an appointment with a paediatrician. She is discussing some problems that

her daughter has been having during the COVID-19 pandemic…

Mrs Bright: Good morning, Dr Stevens.

Dr Stevens: Good morning, Mrs Bright. How can I help you today?

Mrs Bright: Well...I’m very worried about Sarah. Over the last few weeks, she’s been acting

very strangely.

Dr Stevens: What do you mean? Please explain…

Mrs Bright: Well, she refuses to leave her bedroom, even to have lunch or dinner with us

and as if that wasn’t bad enough, she’s refusing to study too! Yesterday, I found out that

she’s even getting her sister to do her homework. It’s very worrying because she’s always

worked very hard to be top of her class and now, she seems to have lost all of her


Dr Stevens: I see…Mrs Bright, you know we are going through a period which is very

traumatic for everyone. Due to school closures and social isolation, many children and young

people are suffering from stress, loneliness, and fear. The measures, albeit necessary, are

likely to contribute to poor mental health.

Mrs. Bright: Personally, I think my daughter is affected by Hikikomori syndrome. Yesterday

I was searching online, and I came across a description of this mental disorder…

Dr Stevens: Please don’t rush to conclusions based on what you have read online! I think

that Sarah’s behaviour is more likely to be caused by a lack of routine and social interactions

- it’s much more common that you might think. To put your mind at ease, I’ll call a colleague

of mine. He’s a psychologist who specialises in adolescent behavioural disorders. I’ll make

an appointment for you.

Mrs Bright: Oh yes, please - I would be incredibly grateful if you would do that for me…

Dr Stevens: Don’t worry, Mrs Bright, I have a 14-year-old son and I can understand how

worrying it can be.

Mrs Bright: Thank you for your help.

Dr Stevens: No problem at all, Mrs Bright – Once you have spoken to my colleague, we’ll

take it from there…

Cups of Coffee
Talking about Mental Health during the Pandemic


Phrasal verb
Example sentence
To come around

To become conscious again after an illness or an operation

One hour after the operation, she started to come around.

To shake something off

To get rid of an illness

I really hope I can shake this cold off before the weekend.

To pass out

To become unconscious for a short period of time.

When the ball hit her on the head, she passed out.

To pick something up

To start to suffer from something

She picked up the cold when she was- on holiday.

To come down with something

To start to suffer symptoms of an illness.

I think I’m starting to come down with the flu.

bottom of page