Stress, Anxiety & Drepression in Kids
School routines are important coping mechanisms for young people, when schools are closed, they lose an anchor in life.
Experts are saying: There is a need to monitor young people's mental health status over the long term, and to study how prolonged school closures, strict social distancing measures, and the pandemic itself affect the wellbeing of children and adolescents.
Dr. Amy Mezulis, Chair of the Seattle Pacific University Clinical Psychology Department, said since schools closed because of the COVID-19 outbreak, teenagers are reporting more depression and loneliness.
Mezulis said now that schools are closed for the rest of the year—families need to acknowledge that it’s a loss for many meaningful activities. “What we’re seeing in addition to just loneliness and anxiety, it’s grief. It’s really a loss—these are hopes and dreams that people wait years to celebrate that they’re not going to celebrate.”
From the experts at American Psychological Assocation: With the heightened anxiety and stress on families due to COVID-19, psychologists might see an exacerbation of symptoms in children. Children already struggling with anxiety or depression might experience higher levels of symptoms given the increased anxiety in society as a whole and increased isolation from physical distancing. Children with behavioral difficulties might exhibit increased externalizing behaviors with the higher stress levels and reduced positive outlets. For children with a trauma history, the current health crisis might trigger them and re-activate earlier trauma symptoms. Psychologists should empathize and discuss these issues with children and parents and provide psychoeducation on the possible impact of COVID-19 on symptoms as appropriate.
Below are some local resources if you find your child needs counseling services:
The Counseling Center of New England offering Telehealth appointments.
The Mental Health Center of Manchester offering several resources including NH 211 hotline
On a National Level these resources are available:
The national crisis text line allows you to connect with a crisis counselor for free simply by texting CRISIS to 741741 (you can also go through Facebook Messenger). It’s staffed by volunteer social workers and clinicians who reply within minutes and are available 24/7.
CDC guidelines for taking care of yourself and family during this crisis.
CLICK HERE for a PDF print out guide of tips to help Teens Cope with this crisis.
Stay healthy & Stay Safe!