the pandemic has eroded children’s mental health

Mental health experts recommend screening for anxiety starting at age 8. The pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the psyche of children.

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Experts from Mental Health of the United States recommend that you submit to screening for theanxiety the children departure From the age of 8they also emphasize the importance of screening for major depressive disorder and the suicide risk in adolescents between 12 and 18 years old. That’s according to new draft guidelines developed by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), an independent group of prevention and primary care experts who develop reports for public health.

The need to update the guidelines, which you can consult by clicking on the following link, is closely linked to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2which has had a catastrophic impact on the mental health of adults and especially on that of children, as revealed by multiple studies. Lockdownfear of contagion, interruption of recreational and sports activities, denial of socializing, distance education, economic problems and family bereavement caused by the virus – which to date has officially killed nearly 6.2 million people – have indeed literally eroded the psychological well-being, as the World Health Organization (WHO) points out. It is no coincidence that mental health experts had pointed out from the start of the pandemic that one of the highest prices to pay for the virus would be a significant increase in stress, anxiety, depression And even post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD). Conditions that are currently also worsening due to the war in Ukraine.

Data shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has literally turned children’s mental health upside down. In fact, if a survey of the National Survey of Children’s Health had reported that about the8 percent American children suffered from anxiety disorders before the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the study “Mental Health, Suicidality, and Connectedness Among High School Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Adolescent Behaviors and Experiences Survey, United States, January – June 2021” published this month this by the CDC found that the 37% of young people of school age, he experienced mental health problems from March 2020. A real wave of disorders which also overwhelmed the psychological assistance services. Among children, relevant clinical cases of mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression have doubled due to the virus, according to a recent study. No wonder deteriorating mental health has become real emergencyto also be confronted with the preventive screenings recommended by the USPSTF from an early age.

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“This crisis of worsening mental health in children and adolescents is inextricably linked to the stress caused by COVID-19,” the authors of the new paper wrote. “We need to identify strategies to address these challenges and improve access and quality of care across the continuum of mental health promotion, prevention and treatment,” the experts added. Thanks to these screenings, in fact, it is possible to quickly identify anxiety disorders and other psychological problems and to remedy them. The lack of treatment can indeed have a significant impact on developmental delay, physical and behavioral problems, poor school performance, substance abuse and other risky conditions, a huge burden on the future of children.

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