The pandemic is causing mental problems for kids, not just parents
Are your kids struggling with anxiety issues because of the COVID-19 pandemic?
A new survey finds many youngsters are having a hard time as the health crisis continues.
Don Rogers, the community outreach director for the Recovery Village in Cherry Hill, said five months after the coronavirus health crisis began in the Garden State, it’s become apparent many children have been adversely affected by what’s going on.
The survey finds many kids are worried about returning to school. 94% of parents say COVID-19 interrupted the daily lives of their children. 95% say the pandemic disrupted planned summer activities like camp, vacation or summer school. 64% report a significant impact that has led to moderate to severe mental health issues.
74% of parents say COVID-19 has impacted their children’s mental health, with 27% reporting a significant to more severe impact. 30% say they’re considering therapy.
The survey also found nearly 60% of parents polled reported symptoms of anxiety in their children, and 53% reported signs of depression, which resulted in a variety of problems including sleep disorders and behavior issues.
Rogers said in addition “we’re also seeing a large percentage of these issues affecting the parents as well, which has rippled into an increase in substance use, mental health issues, domestic violence, etc.”
“It’s just a foreign issue that nobody has any experience with," Rogers said. "It’s just really impacting the family dynamic significantly.”
Rogers pointed out while parents are struggling with their kids problems, they are “going through their own issues, whether it’s being unemployed or furloughed or terminated from their job or just the impact of being quarantined.”
He said the effects of the pandemic may be long-lasting so these issues should be dealt with, not pushed aside.
He recommended families that are struggling reach out for support in a number of ways, including contacting their county prevention agencies or accessing state programs and services because “therapy is supportive. It’s something to talk about. It’s something to learn about.”
“It’s OK to ask for help,” he said. “It’s OK to not feel like you have control. It’s OK to get that support.”
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com