As the nation remains to be on alert and in various stages of lockdown, restrictions continue to be mandated. And we, as a society, persevere to do the best we can to navigate this post-COVID era. Whilst some of us quietly take comfort from the availability of vaccines, it does introduce new uncertainties for families and young people alike. We continue to remain in a state of suspended animation, wondering when “normal” will return.
The physical impact of the pandemic has mostly spared our young people, however researchers are now reporting that children and adolescents are paying a heavy emotional and developmental price, being affected by a range of psychological disorders. According to Kids Helpline, emergency interventions to protect young people have skyrocketed over the last 12 months.
Being a young person today is hard, but so too is being the parent of one. A recent international survey reported that parents are struggling to keep their child’s mental health afloat. Young people are feeling like they don’t have much control over their lives. Their developmental processes have been interfered with and their trajectory has been interrupted. Unfortunately the emotional blowback of the pandemic cannot be vaccinated away. Young people can’t choose what happens to them, but they can choose how to respond. Encouraging them to use programs such as Moodgym, will help them change their thinking.
If your young person wishes to talk to someone outside of the family unit, encourage them to call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 - anytime, any reason. Alternatively, they can chat online at kidshelpline.com.au
Kids Helpline has also created some resources specifically relating to this topic for young people who may be struggling during lockdown. Click here to find out more.