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How COVID-19 May Have Affected Your Child's Mental Health and What You Should Do

How COVID-19 May Have Affected Your Child's Mental Health and What You Should Do

As our nation slowly emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re beginning to assess the damage it inflicted — the people we lost, the economic devastation for some, and its toll on our collective mental health. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly one-third of Americans report clinical signs of anxiety and/or depression, which very much includes the younger members of our population.

As we take stock of our world, Kimberly Krueger, MSW, LCSW and our team of licensed counselors here at Southlake Counseling want to focus our attention on how this pandemic may have affected your child’s (or children’s) mental health.

A child’s experience during COVID-19

To illustrate how COVID-19 may have impacted your child’s mental health, let’s quickly review some of the experiences from their point of view.

First, many kids were forced to attend school from a distance, which means they spent months on end without any peer contact, which is especially important for a child.

Second, adults had their own difficulties navigating the COVID world, so imagine how kids must have felt. While children are resilient, they’re also more sensitive to changes in the world around them, and there were some significant changes.

As a result, many children felt the stress and the enormity of the problem without having the life experience to properly process the situation.

Another point to consider is that during the nation’s shutdown, access to many of their normal activities was cut off. Outside of school, your child missed out on play dates, sports, visiting relatives, and even going to the grocery store with you. This type of isolation can be incredibly tough on kids.

Recognizing the signs of a mental health problem

We understand that we’ve all been through a lot of stress during the past year and a half, and it’s difficult to determine whether a mood change is simply situational or the sign of a larger problem. That said, if you find that your child is having ongoing problems with any of the following, we urge you to pay close attention:

You know your child best, so you’re better able to identify when there might be a significant change in their behavior. 

Some of the more common issues we’re concerned with when it comes to children and COVID-19 are depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, and the symptoms we list above include signs from all three.

If you’re at all unsure, we urge you to err on the side of caution and come in for an evaluation. Our team is trained to recognize the signs of a mental health issue, which allows us to quickly intervene and get your child back on track.

If you suspect that your child may be struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact one of our three offices in Charlotte, Huntersville, or Davidson, North Carolina. 

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