Among the most talked-about consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic is the toll taken on mental health, both in children and adults. Mental health experts were concerned about repercussions from the very beginning, but inevitably, given the stakes of contending with the virus and the unfamiliar territory we’ve all found ourselves in, it has been difficult to manage proactively.
Now a year into the pandemic, hopefully with the worst of its acute consequences behind us, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago was eager to understand parents’ experiences monitoring and managing their children’s mental health. Recently, they polled 1,000 parents across the US, focusing our inquiry on how parents contextualize the impact of the pandemic on mental health, what choices they regret making, and what they’ve done to constructively address challenges. For parents who live with multiple children, they asked them to focus their responses on the child they are most concerned about with respect to mental health.
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago began by asking parents to describe their general feelings about the pandemic’s effects on mental health. Not surprisingly, a majority of parents are distressed by the situation. Seventy-one percent believe the pandemic has taken a toll on their child’s mental health, 69 percent say the pandemic is the worst thing to happen to their child, and 67 percent wish they’d been more vigilant about their child’s mental health from the beginning. Read more