Mental health: Pandemic taking a toll on children

The pandemic isn't just a physical problem. Children are struggling with the effects of isolation and anxiety.

More than 15,000 people in Michigan have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began 11 months ago. Hundreds of thousands have been sickened. But the effects of the pandemic extend beyond the purely physical.

An article on MLive shows that children’s lives have been upended by the pandemic and efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

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There are many ways the pandemic has affected children. Stay-at-home orders and virtual schooling have led to feelings of isolation and grief. The illnesses and deaths tied to the virus have led to anxiety and depression. And the simple disruption of once-typical routines have caused difficulty adapting to the new normal.

These issues can affect anyone, regardless of age. But mental health professionals say they’re especially prevalent in the young who have lost the sense of community that school provides.

“Whether it’s a counselor or custodian or campus safety officer or a trusted secretary, the kids had their village in the building, and now that’s not necessarily the case for them,” said Nkenge Bergan, the director of student services for Kalamazoo Public Schools.

Last week, KPS announced that the district would finish the school year online – not return to the classroom like many other districts in Kalamazoo County.

You can read the full story here.

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