Children suffered emotional illness during pandemic

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Portrait of happy young multi ethnic kids lying on grass and having fun

One outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic is deceased emotional wellness across the population, including among children and teens.

The week of May 2-8, you’re encouraged to look into how the youth in your family and community have experienced stress, isolation and anxiety during the past 15 months.

Here are some arguments that people often make when they wish to claim that children haven’t been impacted by COVID: “She’s too young for mental health problems.” “He’s just about playing.” “We homeschool, so it didn’t change anything for us.”

Actually, babies sense our emotions and our stresses, and so does the child who plays away while the household schedule and budget are turned upside down. Homeschoolers who typically have field trips have been disappointed by their usual venues shutting down.

On Tuesday, May 4 at 1 p.m., the National Federation of Families will host a live fireside chat-style event focused on children’s and youth mental health. Go to the National Federation of Families website for more information and to join the session on May 4.

The theme of the event is “Flip the Script on Mental Health,” and it invites us to change how we think about our own mental health and that of youngsters. It’s the responsibility of the whole community to watch over the wellbeing of our children – including their emotional/mental health.

We have our work cut out for us.

Ann Cochran is the health navigation coordinator in the Dallas County Public Health Department.

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