4 in 10 adults nationwide have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder—a four-fold increase from pre-pandemic levels. And adults in households with children under 18 years old were more likely to report these symptoms.
For younger children, learning key social skills can be delayed without access to day cares or playdates and face coverings on the people they are able to meet. For older children, isolation means fewer opportunities to build crucial relationships.
Adverse childhood experiences- the pandemic’s social and economic effect on families—including those in low-income and populations of color, which are disproportionately affected by COVID-19—could linger for years.
Helping kids move forward- While the challenges are substantial, it has highlighted opportunities where children’s hospitals and health systems and their community partners can help ensure kids’ needs are being met. For example, the crisis has underscored the importance of behavioral health screenings as part of the physical component of care.
It has also highlighted the integral role schools have in the lives of children. Though schools’ primary roles are to educate, they’ve evolved to encompass a broader responsibility for the mental and physical well-being of children—and that presents an opportunity for children’s hospitals.
“The relationship between health providers, public health and schools is stronger than it’s been in a long time,” he says. “If we invest in infrastructure now, we can solidify relationships that are primed to shape our response to kids’ needs in the years ahead.”
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