COVID-19 taking toll on kids' mental health, expert says

“We’ve seen an unrelenting surge in inpatient admissions for suicidal ideation,” Dr. Peter Loper Jr. with Prisma Health said. “So, our kids are not doing well.”

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Arguably one of the worst side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the mental toll it’s taken. And kids have not been immune to it. 

“We’ve seen an unrelenting surge in inpatient admissions for suicidal ideation,” Dr. Peter Loper Jr. with Prisma Health said. “So, our kids are not doing well.” 

Dr. Loper said the social isolation forced by virtual schooling may have protected students from COVID-19, but it also had some consequences. 

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“There are now sufficient, robust data that’s really reinforcing the idea that school closures and lockdowns, they are manifesting as adverse mental health problems in kids, children and adolescents,” Dr. Loper said.

He says parents need to look out for signs their kids are struggling. 

Behaviors like seeking reassurance, fighting more with others, a change in performance in school or activities they once enjoyed, and withdrawing socially are all red flags. 

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“Suicidal ideation thrives in the context of isolation,” Dr. Loper explained. “If your child is starting to demonstrate some social withdrawal and is isolating that might be a red flag that they’re suffering from a mental health problem.”

He recommends spending more time together as a family. Those family dinners and playing can go a long way. 

But staying in school is vital, so doing everything possible to keep them safe, like getting them vaccinated, is something to consider. 

“The reality is relationships matter and community matters, and healthy human development occurs via meaning interpersonal interacts.”

Contact Chloe Leshner at cleshner@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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By Betty C. Giordano

Welcome to my site. My name is Betty C. Giordano and I am a blogger of everything related to mobile, news, events and reality in general. I hope you enjoy reading my content.

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