Rotorua school counsellors fear youth may turn more to drugs, alcohol and self-harm as a way to cope with the mental stress of the global pandemic.
Some were concerned about how teenagers would deal with the change and uncertainty of Covid-19, that school would no longer be a priority and the "vulnerable would become more vulnerable".
Western Heights High School counsellor of 11 years, Guy Ngatai, said the fallout of Covid-19 would become noticeable once students returned to school and he predicted a spike in anxiety, stress, problems refocusing and a severe hit to attendance.
Ngatai provided his email for students to contact him throughout the lockdown but none had yet reached out to him.
"But that's not to say they're all doing okay."
Ngatai said there was "always an appetite" among teenagers to turn to drugs, alcohol and self-harm as a way to try and make sense of the global pandemic.
The financial strains, emotional turmoil, stress about assessments and exams would all impact the mental health of students, he said.
"You've got some kids staying at home and relationships with parents are abusive and they're stuck indoors," said Ngatai, who believed a lack of support could heighten an already stressful situation.
Family incomes had also been lost, and many students, who worked to supplement the money brought into the household by parents, also lost their jobs.
"Even at the best of times ... having jobs is a stressful time but this is going to be exponential.
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"There will be priorities over-and-above school," he said, which included tangihanga and grieving of whānau that was unable to happen as a result of the lockdown.
He said schools could "not expect too much out of them in terms of their work" in at least the first few weeks back and a consistent and empathetic approach would be crucial.
John Paul College counsellor Nancy Macmillan said there was a worry some young people may self-medicate in the form of illicit substances, disordered eating and self-harm.
Macmillan said it was difficult to predict how students may respond but it "would be a more intense experience for them because of this whole layer of angst and worry".
She said while young people had worries about health, the biggest issues for them would be around change and uncertainty, and how they dealt with it.
The change to the platform of learning, while the volume of work was less, may be overwhelming with information coming through Zoom, Google Classrooms and emails.
The school was working to strike a balance between too much and too little information to parents on helping their children.
"Kids respond depending on how they see their parents and whānau respond," and Macmillan said it was important parents acknowledge the fears and concerns of their children.
"But then add in - but I know we're going to get through it."
The school kept in touch with parents through the school app sending out resources twice a week.
This included content from the Ministry of Education, New Zealand Institute of Resilience and Wellbeing and the Mental Health Foundation.
REAL child and youth director John Zonnevylle said the young people they were in contact with were missing friends, socialising and the structure and routine of usual lives.
This loss of structure could mean young people will hibernate in their rooms, stay up late on devices and sleep in, which can lead to a decrease in motivation and well-being.
Though youth appeared fine now, Zonnevylle said it may be much later that metal health issues emerge, particularly anxiety.
"We expect young people would probably engage in some of the things they would usually do, such as breaking their 'bubble' to go out and seek social connection and address boredom.
"They might also be using substances more, and might be constantly tethered to social media."
He said whānau should look out for young people who are becoming more disinterested or who seem to be more agitated and anxious.
Ensure they avoid spending too much time focussed on the bad news, he said.
REAL was still operating online and taking referrals from Lakes DHB.
New Zealand Association for Counsellors spokeswoman Jean Andrews said: "the vulnerable will be made more vulnerable".
She said young people would be spending more time with their families, which for some may be a positive thing.
"Other situations, where young people have adverse circumstances and stress, then that's going to really impact on the health and wellbeing of our young people."
Andrews believed those with pre-existing mental health and addiction issues could be exacerbated by Covid-19.
"I'm hopeful that positive things come out; relationships, resourcefulness and resilience are strengthened."
On Tuesday, the Government announced the ' Getting Through Together ' campaign which was developed by All Right? in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation.
It provides resources and tips for managing yours and your whānau's mental health.