Mental Health Issues in Kids in Pandemic

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Mental Health Issues in Kids in Pandemic

Mental Health Issues in Kids in Pandemic

Mental Health Issues in Kids in Pandemic

A new report revealed that a large number of schools going kids in the USA are reporting in hospitals with mental health issues.

The findings of this study suggest that the pandemic is causing a lot of mental health issues because of disruptions to their routine life, anxiety, and social disruption.  This data has been collected and reviewed by CDC, USA.

The study consisted of emergency visits of children under age 18 for a mental health issue between Jan. 1 and Oct. 17, 2020.

"The main symptoms are related to stress, anxiety, acute post-traumatic stress disorder, and panic," said lead author Rebecca Leeb, a health scientist at the CDC in Atlanta who is part of its COVID-19 Response Team.

"The increase in emergency visits due to mental health-related issues increased to 24% for children aged 5 to 11, and 31% among teenagers aged 12 to 17 years, compared to 2019.

But these may not reflect the true number. The true number of mental health patients may be much more as not all report to emergencies. Some directly go to the family physician.

These findings apply to kids in other countries as well. It highlights the importance of continuing to monitor children's mental health during the pandemic to ensure access to mental health services during public health crises.

The mental health issues seen are not surprising as the psychologists are very clear that these are stressful times for many and stress can exacerbate mental health concerns. Previous research indicates that a portion of children does have adverse outcomes from traumatic events, and this pandemic is no different.

One of the main coping mechanisms with kids is outside play when they interact with their friends and that gives them an outlet to express themselves.

Kids may also pick up on parents' stress, which can magnify their own fears.

"Some kids can cope with these stressful times but others may not. The kids with pre-existing mental issues may fare worse.

 Parents and other adults need to understand that they can help those who are struggling.

The most important is to foster a supportive and caring environment and adults need to learn to identify subtle signs of mental stress in the child.

Dr. Rakesh Rai. MS, FRCS, MD, CCT, ASTS Fellow.