The continuing stress, fear and insecurity of the COVID-19 pandemic have led to many negative effects on mental health among children and adolescents. During a recent virtual town hall entitled “Mental Wealth: The Impact of COVID on Mental Health in the Black Community,” a group of trusted physicians discussed insights into how parents and caregivers can support their children’s mental health. during and after the pandemic.
- Identify the symptoms of mental illness
For children, being mentally healthy means “reaching stages of development and emotional stages and learning healthy social skills and how to cope when there are problems “, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In recent years, children are experiencing higher levels of anxiety and depression.
“There are different ways in which children can present mental health problems, anxiety and depression – when we can’t function at school, when we are unable to make friends, when we no longer interact with family, and we just want to stay. in his room all day, “said Dr. Samira Brown, a pediatrician at Piedmont Healthcare in Georgia and a physician at the W Montague Cobb / NMA Health Institute.
Although children may not always understand why they feel the way they do, Dr. Brown said it is important to recognize and cope. the way children learn, behave and manage their emotions.
- Talk to your child about how he or she is feeling
Parents and guardians are the first to teach children how to manage their emotions. Although talking about emotional topics can be uncomfortable for both parents and children, it builds trust based on different feelings.
“These conversations with children when they are not happy will probably be one of the best conversations you can have,” said Dr. Byron Jasper, CEO of Byja Clinic, the first private primary care practice owned by of blacks in Louisiana, and W Montague Physician of the Cobb / NMA Institute of Health. “When you do this early, it gives them a platform to open up to negative feelings.”
Dr. Kendall Jasper, cThe line psychologist at Jasper Psychological Services, PLLC, noted that talking to children today about behavior and emotions may look different from how parents were raised growing up.
- Set limits on Internet usage
With quarantine, the closure of schools and online learning environments, children and adolescents have had increased exposure to the Internet. Social media can also put children at greater risk for anxiety and depression. Dr. Brown encourages parents to be proactive in monitoring what their children do online.
- Be active in seeking preventive care
Preventive care can reduce the chances of serious mental illness. Getting to a school counselor or pediatrician early and regularly will be key to finding and accessing mental health resources for children.
- Vaccinate your child if he meets the conditions
COVID-19 vaccines help prevent infection, reduce the spread of the virus and allow children to stay in school and continue to participate in a variety of activities, which helps alleviate the burden of mental health. Children aged 5 and over are currently eligible for vaccination.
To find a vaccine site, search vaccines.govsend your zip code to 438829 or call (800) 232-0233 to find places near you.
To see the virtual town hall in its entirety, visit Stay Well Public Health Fairs on YouTube.
For more information on vaccinations and health resources, visit Stay Well community Facebook page.
Five Ways to Support Your Child’s Mental Health – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel Source link Five Ways to Support Your Child’s Mental Health – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel