Kids experience stress, too – Resources are available to help parents/caregivers assist them

Kids, like adults, encounter stress and worry in their lives. Now – as changes to their normal routines have been altered by COVID-19 – is a good time to take a look at the mental health and well-being of children.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), anxiety and depression also affects many children, with the latest statistics showing 7.1 percent of children aged 3 to 17 (approximately 4.4 million) have diagnosed anxiety and 3.2 percent of children aged 3 to 17 (approximately 1.9 million) have diagnosed depression.

“Even without a diagnosable condition, helping kids understand their feelings and emotions is important,” said Amanda Hathcock, employee assistance counselor at the Center for Healthy Living (CHL) on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus. “With all that is going on in the world today and the stress that many families are feeling as a result, kids are bound to feel the stress, too. And it’s important to remember that just like with adults, not all children respond to stress in the same way,” she added.

Hathcock offered the following symptoms parents / caregivers should watch for:

  • Excessive worry or sadness
  • Excessive crying or irritation
  • Unexplained headaches or body pain
  • Difficulty handling frustration
  • Withdrawing from things they normally enjoy

Resources to help kids cope

A variety of resources to help parents / caregivers help the children in their lives are available, including:

In addition, – Purdue’s new partner to help caregivers find the care they need – has assembled a library of COVID-19 resources for families and caregivers, which includes the following and more: