Stand Up to Stress!
A coloring and activity book for kids ages 8-12
Free from National Institute of Mental Health
Did you know that connecting with friends and family is one great way to cope with stress?
This free coloring and activity book teaches children about stress and anxiety and offers tips for coping in a healthy way.
Child developmental losses
Seventy-three percent of parents expressed concern for their child(ren)’s social life or development, 71% of parents expressed concern for their child(ren)’s academic development, 71% of parents expressed concern for their child(ren)’s emotional health or development, 68% of parents expressed concern for their child(ren)’s cognitive development, and 68% of parents expressed concern for their child(ren)’s physical health/development.
Additionally, 72% of parents agree that disruption to their child’s schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic is stressful to them. Sixty-eight percent of parents agree with the statement, “It feels like the rules around COVID-19 testing change constantly for their child(ren)’s school/daycare.” Sixty-eight percent of parents also agree with the statement, “Trying to keep up with the rules and regulations for COVID-19 for their child/children’s school and activities is difficult.”
Source: American Psychological Association
The Pandemic’s Toll
In a 2020 survey of 1,000 parents around the country facilitated by the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, 71% of parents said the pandemic had taken a toll on their child’s mental health, and 69% said the pandemic was the worst thing to happen to their child. A national survey of 3,300 high schoolers conducted in spring 2020 found close to a third of students felt unhappy and depressed much more than usual.
Mental health crises are also on the rise. From March 2020 to October 2020, mental health–related emergency department visits increased 24% for children ages 5 to 11 and 31% for those ages 12 to 17 compared with 2019 emergency department visits, according to CDC data (Leeb, R. T., et al., Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Vol. 69, No. 45, 2020).
Emergency visits could be mitigated with more widespread outpatient care, but even before the pandemic, kids often had to wait months for appointments (Cama, S., et al., International Journal of Health Services, Vol. 47, No. 4, 2017). Only 4,000 out of more than 100,000 U.S. clinical psychologists are child and adolescent clinicians, according to APA data. School psychologists are also in short supply, leaving kids without enough support at school. The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) recommends a ratio of 1 school psychologist per 500 students; current NASP data estimate a ratio of 1 per 1,211 students.
The pandemic has also exacerbated existing disparities in mental health services. A 2020 technical report from the University of Massachusetts Boston and University of Massachusetts Amherst found that students who needed access to school-based services the most, particularly those with lower socioeconomic backgrounds, had lower rates of counselors and school psychologists in their districts.
While federal funding has provided schools with money to support students’ well-being, psychologists have been seeking additional long-term solutions to address the mental health problems revealed and exacerbated by the pandemic, from building mental health into school curricula to training teachers in prevention strategies to support students based on psychological science.
Source: Abramson, A. (2022, January 1). Children’s mental health is in crisis. Monitor on Psychology. Retrieved March 28, 2022, from https://www.apa.org/monitor/2022/01/special-childrens-mental-health
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