The Expected Mental Health Impacts of COVID on Kids

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly been evident in the area of mental health in young children and adolescents, across the globe throughout 2020.

Although increased mental health concerns are expected during and throughout the aftermath of a pandemic, children and adolescents have a greater susceptibility of experiencing long-term mental health consequences. Studies conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic have shown high rates of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic symptoms in children.

Modification of children's routines and abilities to travel and have life “as normal” may leave children and adolescents feeling frustrated, confused, and unsettled. Problems such as poorer school performance, increased agitation, aggression, and emotional or behavioural regression may be evident.

Children from all over the world have shown increased emotional outbursts, irritability, difficulty self-soothing, low mood, increased exhaustion, and feelings of nervousness or anxiety. Because they are in a critical period of development, children and adolescents deserve special care to preserve and promote their mental health (Marques de Miranda et al., 2020; Saggiorode Figeriedo et al., 2020).

Although it may be concerning for parents to witness their children experiencing the impact of what has been an unprecedented year, it is important to recognise that such responses are somewhat expected—and in that sense, we are not alone. Never underestimate the power of the small things. Healthy coping skills can be implemented at home with the whole family, such as going on walks, enjoying nature, and debriefing over dinner. It may sound simple but if it feels good and it is healthy, do more of it!

With all of this information in mind, we have been working hard here at BAC to support our students throughout this year and will continue to prioritise mental-wellness throughout 2021 and beyond.