Doctors encourage checking on children’s mental health during pandemic

Doctors encourage checking on children’s mental health during pandemic

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - With changes to the school year, summer trips and big life events, this pandemic has deeply impacted children.

While some local doctors say they haven’t seen an increase in mental health cases for youth at this point. They want parents to talk to their kids.

“I would say it any type of change, so a change in behavior, whether it’s now they are more withdrawn, they are sadder or even the opposite they are more angry or more irritable is something to be concerned about. Maybe a change in sleep or a change in their diet and what they’re eating,” Adolescent Medicine Physician at Memorial Health, Dr. Charrelle Coates said.

Knowing mental health is so important right now. Dr. Coates suggests in addition to looking for changes in your child, you also should keep them on a schedule and check your own well-being.

“The children learn looking to the adults in their lives, especially the ones they live with for stability and for answers and so a really they can sense the changes that are going on. So, acknowledging those changes, but also being calm for them,” Dr. Coates said.

While there are several stressors from the pandemic, whether it’s cancelled plans, a loss of income, or lack of socialization, medical professionals say it’s important you recognize the challenges with your kids and have a healthy dialogue.

“It really depends on the developmental level and what’s appropriate for that particular child, that adolescent and kind of starting from there asking them questions. What do you want to know? What questions do you have? What’s confusing to you? What worries you? And just taking their responses seriously,” Dr. Coates said.

Doctors say the impacts of this pandemic could be significant for some, so it’s important parents recognize where their child is at emotionally and reach out for help if they need it.

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