Kids Under Construction: Pediatric mental health

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – This week, parenting expert and journalist Donna Tetreault and former Harvard Medical School professor Dr. William Haseltine Children’s Mental Health.

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dr. Haseltine says COVID-19 has had a profound impact on everyone’s mental health, especially young children.

“COVID is a typical syndemic,” explains Dr. Haseltine out. “It’s a medical crisis, it’s an economic crisis, it’s a personal crisis and it’s a traumatic crisis for parents and their children,” he added.

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Haseltine says the pandemic has caused confusion among young children who are struggling to understand these unprecedented circumstances.

“When kids think they can’t help it, they get a sense of hopelessness,” says Dr. Haseltine. “There are many mental health problems involved; behavioral problems, depression, insomnia and anxiety.”

But what can parents do to help children navigate these feelings?

dr. Haseltine says it’s important to help kids understand what’s happening, but let them know that these circumstances won’t last forever.

“Let them talk and feel about their emotions,” the doctor says. “One of the most important things for children is that they feel they are being listened to.”

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It is also important that teachers understand how to address these feelings in children when they return to the classroom.

Haseltine says it won’t be an easy task for educators.

“Teachers will be very overwhelmed,” he says. “It is important for schools to strengthen their psychiatric and social work services.

Click on the video at the top of the story to watch the full conversation with Tetreault and Dr. Haseltine to see.

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