Coronavirus Update: Helping children cope with the pandemic impact

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- With messages from celebrities like Gabby Sidibe and kids like Uzziah, the Child Mind Institute launched the "Getting Better Together" mental health campaign this month.

The campaign could not have come soon enough.



"We know the effects of the pandemic have caused mental health symptoms to be exacerbated in pretty much the entire population," Dave Anderson, PhD, a Clinical Psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, said.

That's including kids, according to Dr. Anderson. He refers to the three i's.

"Inconsistency, isolation, and insulation," he said.

Inconsistency when it comes to schooling and social settings.

Isolation because of social distancing, shutdowns and remote learning.

And insulation - the result of stress, anxiety and fear among adults rippling down to the kids.

For families that have experienced financial hardship, job loss, housing loss or more intense domestic conflict as a result of the pandemic, kids are feeling that stress in the sense there's no real way to be outside that," Anderson said.

RELATED: Mental health and coping during the coronavirus pandemic

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that mental health visits to emergency rooms by teenagers were up 31 % in 2020 from the previous year.

"If there is a silver lining to come out of this, it should be that things like this pandemic uniformly affect humanity and there's a reason for us to be open about the kind of support we know," he said.

Even as society reopens, parents should watch their kids for shifts in mood, sleep, diet, and a lack of engagement. And they should know seeking help is the right thing to do.

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