Increase in Mental Health Needs associated with the impact of COVID-19
Jennifer Cardinal Ph.D.
Although things are rapidly improving there are lasting emotional impacts on our children. Many children who have struggled with anxiety and depression through the pandemic have not received support services. Summer is a perfect time for parents to pay close attention to their child’s emotional health and recruit psychological help as needed.
Parents can screen their children for symptoms of mood disorders such as anxiety and depression by watching for common symptoms such as:
Loss of interest in activities they previously enjoyed
Changes in weight or eating patterns i.e., never being hungry or eating all the time
Less interest in their schoolwork and diminished academic effort or grades
Changes in sleep patterns, i.e., sleeping too little or too often
Excessive worries that are poorly controlled
Being more withdrawn than they normally are
Changes in their mood i.e., increased or unusual sadness or irritability, persisting over time
Feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness
If several of these symptoms are present for at least two weeks, they can suggest a mood disorder. Advocating for your child’s mental health can improve not only their academic success and learning ability but as well as their overall well-being.