We’ve put a focus on the importance of providing resources for employees and their mental health, but another topic that is just as important is a child’s mental wellness. Mental health is an essential part of how children & teens reach developmental milestones and impacts their physical & emotional health as well as their ability to succeed in school, activities and their social life. With the transition from in-person schooling to remote learning, and many plans still in flux with the Delta variant and varying opinions surrounding the vaccine for children, many children & teens (like adults) are experiencing a lack of stability. With parents facing their own set of obstacles and responsibilities, the mental wellness of children can often be overlooked. And with the school year upon us, it’s important to put a focus on and provide resources for children and their mental wellbeing to set them up for success.
The Impact of COVID-19 on Child & Teen Mental Health
According to JAMA Pediatrics, depression and anxiety has doubled during the pandemic with 1 in 5 youth experiencing clinically elevated anxiety symptoms. The lockdown put us in an unfamiliar state of isolation and has rendered us unable to interact with other people face to face. Children were, and still are limited in spending time participating in extracurricular activities and being outdoors with their peers, limiting their ability to express themselves and bringing in emotional complexities. Some children have also lost a sense of engagement with virtual learning, sometimes experiencing headaches, eye strain, and other psychological implications adapting to remote learning. According to an NCBI study, children have experienced long-term psychological and mental health effects due to these changes.
"Depression and anxiety has doubled during the pandemic with 1 in 5 youth experiencing clinically elevated anxiety symptoms. "
Not only do children have to cope with their studies and chores, but they also face a myriad of anxiety and mental health issues that they often sweep under the rug, not knowing how to properly cope and/or understanding why they may be feeling a certain way.
Let’s have a deeper look at mental care for teens and children.
Mental Health Statistics
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, data on children’s mental health shows that roughly 9.4% of children under 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD and 7.4% have been diagnosed with behavior problems. Moreover, 7.1% of children have been diagnosed with anxiety, whereas 3.2% have been diagnosed with depression. While 1 in 5 children have diagnosable mental health symptoms, nearly two-thirds of children haven’t got the help they need.
What Signs to Look Out For
It can be difficult to distinguish challenges that are a part of growing up versus behaviors and emotions that could be a cause for concern. If you observe closely and behavior persists for longer than a few weeks, below are some signs that can help you identify if your child is going through mental stress or needs additional support. Some of these include:
- A constant state of sadness or gloominess
- Worrying or fearing too much about small things
- Hurting or thinking to hurt themselves
- Outbursts of anger, rage, or crying
- Sudden drastic mood swings
- Irregular eating habits
- Noticeable weight loss or gain
- Lack of focus, or “spacing out”
- Lost interest in activities they used to enjoy
- Struggling academically or a decline in grades
- A decrease in energy
If you notice any of these signs in your child or teen, make sure to address them instantly. You can take this test as a first step to screening your child’s behavior.
How can Therapy Help?
From the repercussions of the pandemic, bullying, family problems, self-esteem issues, mental health conditions, and several other factors, therapy can offer your child with ways to cope and communicate better and provide access to tools that allow for healthy development into adulthood. Therapy offers your child expert support that allows your child or teen to talk through their feelings and experiences and find ways to navigate them in a healthy way.
With MindCare, you and your family get access to licensed therapists and psychiatrists in just days. Every session ends with a therapist-developed planned with an assessment tool to track progress and members can schedule repeat visits with a preferred therapist. It also allows you the convenience of receiving therapy and treatment without even having to leave your home. You can choose a qualified and experienced therapist in no time and instantly set up an appointment according to you or your dependent’s schedule. Click here to learn more.