NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – As we enter year three of the COVID-19 pandemic, Connecticut’s children are struggling. Mental health visits to the emergency room are up and grades are down.
What’s being done to help kids and teens?
STUDENTS SHARE THEIR STORIES
Matt is a senior at Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy and Alexa is a senior, Giuliana is a junior, and Sarah is a freshman at Jonathan Law High School in Milford. They share how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted them.
The expert panel — Dr. Melissa Santos, the division chief of pediatric psychology at Connecticut Children’s; Dr. Jennifer Schwab, the chair of the Connecticut Kid’s Care Network; Joslyn Delancey, the vice president of the Connecticut Education Association; School Counselor of the Year Curtis Darragh; Senate Minority Leader and ranking member of the Committee on Children Kevin Kelly (R); and State Rep. Liz Linehan (D), the co-chair of the Committee on Children — share their thoughts on how remote learning has changed kids.
ANTIDEPRESSANTS & SIGNS OF STRUGGLING
During our special reporting on mental health, Rocky Hill pediatrician Jennifer Schwab, who is affiliated with Connecticut Children’s and a member of our panel, opened up about how she’s treating children. She says she is prescribing as many antidepressants as she is antibiotics. Is it helping?
The medical panel offers advice on how you can tell if your child is struggling.
MENTAL HEALTH LEGISLATION
Lawmakers are focusing specifically on the mental health crisis among youth in Connecticut. The debate will begin Friday in the public health and children committees on two bills.
Kelly and Linehan broke down the proposals and explains how they could help our youth.
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES
If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio: 1-888-628-9454
Lifeline Options For Deaf + Hard of Hearing: For TTY Users: Use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then 1-800-273-8255
Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255; Text 838255
Infoline Crisis Services: Dial 2-1-1 from anywhere in Connecticut.
Additional resources are posted on the state’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services website.
DIGITAL POST-SHOW | IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH
The expert panel shares how pervasive they think social media has become in the lives of children.
What kind of psychological effects does social media have on children?
How can parents help their children navigate the digital world?
Are students sharing concerns about cyberbullying or negative experiences on social media?