The COVID pandemic has brought unprecedented changes in social constructs, education, and financial status, just to name a few. This worldwide coronavirus outbreak has affected and continues to affect every citizen of the globe, regardless of fame, status, or wealth. For the average family, COVID-19 meant kids no longer attended brick-and-mortar school, job loss or changes brought financial strain, and social distancing dictated event cancellations and stay-at-home isolation.
New research reported by Science Daily reveals a distinct trend of coronavirus-associated blues – psychological distress – in the US adult population. A survey by the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health showed a significant increase in adults reporting psychological distress in April 2020 as compared to 2018. Older adults (over age 55) with psychological distress went from 3.8% to 7.3%, almost doubling since 2018. Young adults (18-29) reporting distress jumped from 3.7% in 2018 to a whopping 24% in April 2020.
While this research certainly sounds depressing, there is good news in the knowledge. Educators, health-care workers, counselors, and employers can use this information to create intervention and treatment programs for helping our population recover.
We recently interviewed one of those professionals: Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge. Dr. Roseann is a psychologist, mental health trailblazer, founder of the Global Institute of Children’s Mental Health, a media expert who is changing the way we view and treat children’s mental health, and author of the book, It’s Gonna Be OK!
Dr. Roseann shared how the pandemic has worsened the mental health crisis for our children and adolescents and what we are seeing as a result. She talked about the impact of social isolation and how children are struggling with regulating their emotions and their basic abilities to communicate with others. The good news? There are ways we can help. Dr. Roseann offered some fantastic tips for parents and reassured us that despite the current challenges, it’s going to be okay!
By Terissa Michele Miller, MS Psy
Check out the original research:
This article was originally published in Modern Brain Journal.
About the author:
Teri Miller is a mom of nine and child development researcher with a Masters of Science in Psychology. She is a Research Associate at Gibson Institute of Cognitive Research, co-host of the podcast Brainy Moms, and the Managing Editor at Modern Brain Journal.