Whether it’s helping kids process traumatic experiences or simply giving kids a space to learn good coping skills, therapy can help children improve their internal, home, and social life and become healthy, well-adjusted adults.
The stress and isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic have taken their toll on everyone: a late 2022 study indicated roughly 40% of Americans experienced high psychological distress at least once during the pandemic. These effects are certainly not limited to adults. Kids are also social creatures, and the abrupt transition to remote learning on top of sudden, great uncertainty led to an overall decline in youth mental health internationally.
Kids can react to stress in many different ways, including being irritable or moody, experiencing sleep disturbances, crying frequently, or losing interest in things they usually enjoy. One of the best things you can do is listen to your child and take their concerns seriously. Even if you know that some of the things they worry about won’t matter in the long run, it’s important that your child knows you’re a safe and compassionate person to talk to.
Finding a therapist can be helpful for your child as well, whether it’s for short-term or long-term concerns (in addition to pandemic-related concerns, there is a range of therapies for kids affected by ADHD, PTSD, anxiety, depression, and a host of other issues). Coverage varies widely by medical plan, so check your plan details. You may be able to locate a provider through your carrier’s website, as well through the American Psychological Association. It’s also worth checking the details of your Employee Assistance Program – oftentimes it provides both you and your dependents access to a number of visits with a licensed professional and other mental health resources.
Effects of COVID-19 pandemic on mental health of children and adolescents: A systematic review of survey studies – PMC (nih.gov)
Therapy to Improve Children’s Mental Health | CDC