And while I’m glad the message got out—over 2 million people read that article—it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to write.
Because even though I know that such extreme social distancing is absolutely necessary to slow the spread of this sneaky virus, I also know that isolating ourselves from each other can have a massive toll on mental health.
And I’ve seen that toll already. As I write this now, schools in my area have been closed for only a week, and yet my pediatric office has been flooded with calls from parents worried that their kids are becoming depressed.
The risk for anxiety and depression amongst our kids and teens—and amongst ourselves—is real, and that risk will be compounded as the need for physical distancing inevitably stretches to several weeks more.
So these are my recommendations for parents to help bolster the mental health of their kids and teens in the midst of this pandemic. You may find them helpful for yourself, as well.