Doctors agree the pandemic is wreaking havoc on kids’ mental health, with a surge in ER cases across the state.
East Tennessee Children’s Hospital said the number of kids in doctors’ offices and the ER are reaching “disastrous proportions.”
It’s a problem parents wish they could turn off at the end of the day.
Elizabeth Allman has two young children. Her 6-year-old son Logan is learning from home and suffers from un-diagnosed behavioral needs and anxiety.
For him, the pandemic makes everything worse.
“Not going out hardly anywhere, doing school at home, not having those social interactions, it’s just amplified all of his issues that we’ve been focused on dealing with,” Allman nodded.
As hard as the pandemic is on adults, kids feel the stress in the same way, which is sometimes exacerbated by their parent’s struggles.
“It’s stressful, and of course you’re trying to hide your own stress so that they don’t stress out further and that makes it hard,” Allman explained.
Their family is not alone. Dr. Joe Childs is the chief medical officer at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. He said while most kids physically have been able to handle COVID-19, the hospital is seeing a surge of “disastrous proportions” involving mental and behavioral health needs.
“The isolation and emotional toll can lead to depression and suicide you know drug and substance abuse,” Childs explained. “A lot of behavioral health concerns and our ER is definitely seeing that.”