How Are the Children 24 Months Post-COVID?
Twenty-four months into a global pandemic, communities want to know: How are the children? As we all witnessed, COVID-19 turned the world upside down and suddenly uprooted every form of normalcy. This impacted our youth in Texas, people around the country, and the world. From high school proms being canceled, to college admissions and high school athletes being thrust into uncertainty, to the abrupt shift into isolation and online education.
Parents, teachers and youth themselves, expressed experiencing increased feelings of anxiety and various levels of depression, some to the point of suicide or suicidal ideation. Youth, respectfully so, were missing their friends, milestone events, a sense of community, and the freedoms that help them become independent.
So, what are the professionals, parents, and educators reporting today about our youth’s mental health and wellbeing post-covid? How can we as leaders, parents, and educators help them thrive beyond the traumas experienced?
According to the American Psychological Association, as pandemic stressors continue, the mental health of our youth is at stake. The research reports that psychological services are at an all-time high among children. While some children and youth benefited from changes like remote learning, others faced mental health crisis. As stated in a recent White House briefing, suicide remains the second leading cause of death among young people between the ages of 10 and 24.
There is much to be accomplished as we forge a path forward. We can be encouraged because even amidst all our youth and the world has experienced, there is hope. Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson, President and CEO, of the Children’s Defense Fund “envisions a nation where marginalized children flourish, leaders prioritize their well-being, and communities wield the power to ensure they thrive.” This is important because Alliance envisions a world where everyone is empowered to be all that they are created to be, regardless of the zip code in which they happen to live. Addressing the mental health needs of youth is paramount to realizing this vision.
Below are resource recommendations to support and protect children’s emotional well-being during the pandemic (downloads):