• EAP and Covid-19 2021: What About the Children: The COVID-19 Impact

      Perspectives (2021)
      For more than a year, children have been navigating social isolation, stressed-out parents, the effects of financial uncertainty, school from home or even from Wi-Fi-equipped school buses if they don't have internet. They worry whether they will see their friends and relatives, go back to school or get sick. Parents are typically adept at making plans for their children, but most future events are on hold. What’s more, the challenges facing parents may interfere with their usual ability to address their children’s emotional needs—almost half of all parents report experiencing higher levels of stress during COVID-19. This increases their children’s risk for experiencing family adversity (e.g., child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, etc.) and related mental health problems. The social, emotional and behavioral well-being of children and youth is a critical aspect of human development that lays the foundation for lifelong health and well-being. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, as many as one in five children had a diagnosed mental health disorder. While research on the pandemic’s effects on mental health is still in the early stages, current evidence shows a surge in anxiety and depression among children and adolescents, including among young people of color and among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer and/or questioning (LGBTQ) youth.