A review published August 9th in JAMA Pediatrics aimed to measure how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted mental health in children and adolescents. It evaluated the results of 29 studies including a total of 80,879 youth from around the world.
This review found that 25.2% of youth worldwide (1 in 4) have experienced elevated depression symptoms and 20.5% (1 in 5) have experienced elevated anxiety symptoms. These numbers are double those from before the pandemic in children and adolescents. Depression and anxiety symptoms were more prevalent in studies done later in the pandemic, and were generally higher in girls. Older children were more likely to experience depression.
According to the review’s authors, “Depressive symptoms…could be elevated during the pandemic as a result of social isolation due to school closures and physical distancing requirements…Uncertainty, disruptions in daily routines, and concerns for the health and well-being of family and loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic are likely associated with increases in generalized anxiety in youth.”
While mental health is becoming increasingly destigmatized in adults, it can be missed or seen as a phase in kids. This study points to the need for increased awareness of mental health in children and for youth-oriented education and resources. Like mental health disorders in adults, those in children are treatable.
If you are struggling with a mental health or substance use disorder, there is help and hope. TruHealing Centers offers high-quality treatment for mental health disorders and addiction in facilities across the country. Our staff—many of whom are in recovery themselves—will help you build the coping skills to thrive in recovery. To learn more, call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.