Are mental health issues improving now that the pandemic is easing?

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According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Utah, more than 40 million people in the U.S. are living with a mental health condition. Approximately one in five Utahns experienced a mental illness in the past year. Children are also impacted by mental health illnesses and spectrum disorders. During this time of heightened anxiety, isolation, and depression because of the COVID-19 pandemic, kids have struggled to adapt.

After relentless months of social distancing, online schooling and other restrictions, many kids are feeling the pandemic’s toll or facing new challenges navigating reentry.

In typical times, the activities that come as the school year ends — finals, prom, graduations, summer job-seeking — can be stressful even for the most resilient kids. But after more than a year of dealing with pandemic restrictions, many are worn down and simply don’t have enough in the tank of resilience’ to handle stresses that previously would have been manageable.

At some doctors offices, psychiatric cases have remained high throughout the pandemic; others, like Tanner Clinic has seen a more recent surge. Stress, anxiety, depression have all been increasing in kids during COVID-19. Nobody is immune to the stress that comes with a pandemic and related quarantining. That’s why you should make sure you are helping your kid get exercise each day as it is one of the most helpful things in treating mental health issues.

Remember that you are the main source of information for shaping your child’s attitudes. By modeling healthy behaviors and attitudes, you can help your child evaluate the messages they get outside and inside of the home. Helping your kids form healthy eating habits early in life can teach them to pay attention to the signals their body gives them and will promote independence around food at an early age. Teach your child to trust their bodies and their needs, but also look out for changes in diet, exercise, and confidence.

If you are concerned in any way about your kid’s mental or behavioral health, visit Tanner Clinic and schedule an appointment.

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