Conn. (WTNH) — Throughout this COVID-19 pandemic, the mental health and wellness of children and adolescents have become a real concern. Fortunately, there are people throughout Connecticut who want to help. Like the Children’s Committee of Connecticut. They hosted a Mental Health Forum to address the issue Wednesday in Hartford.

In our region, there’s been an uptick in the number of children seeking help at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Pediatric psychiatrists globally say they are seeing children with pandemic-related phobias, eating disorders, and tics.

The program Wednesday was developed along with doctors, social workers, and experts. Their goal is to provide parents with practical advice. They provide tools to find a provider, utilize school resources, and identify specialty LGBTQ outreach for kids.

“We do a pretty thorough, comprehensive evaluation of the child, the family, the dynamics of what’s happening around the family,” said Catherine Scheidel, the director of Outpatient services for Wellmore Behavioral Health in Waterbury. “We do protective factors, we do risk factors.”

She says they are open-access. “That means families can just walk in with their child at the times that we offer, and they are seen right away. They don’t need to make appointments.”

They also provide a focus on self-harming, how to recognize it, what to look out for.

Co-Chairs for the Committee were Representative Liz Linehan and Senator Suad Anwar.