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April 2021Vol. 22, No. 4CDC Resource Addresses Pandemic-Related Youth Mental Health Challenges

Few in the world have been untouched in some way by the coronavirus; it is undiscriminating, affecting people of all ages, races, nationalities, and strata. While its impact has been quite visible through the news media and the restructuring of family, work, and school life across the globe, less visible are the mental health effects the pandemic has had on individuals, particularly children, youth, and young adults. Recognizing the social, emotional, and mental health challenges facing this young population, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed a resource kit for parents, caregivers, and other adults to support their efforts to identify and respond to these challenges and ensure the well-being of the young people in their lives. This toolkit is also beneficial for those caring for and working with families involved with child welfare, as these families are already experiencing increased stress and trauma made worse by the loss of face-to-face supports, meaningful family visits, and school and work adjustments.

Resources are organized by age—early childhood (0-5 years), childhood (6-12 years), adolescence (13-17 years), and young adulthood (18-24 years)—and include information on the challenges associated with changes in routine, breaks in continuity of learning and health care, missed significant life events, and loss of security and safety as well as steps and guidance adults can take to help. The kit also provides a tabbed list of related resources, including an activity book and board game for children, conversation starters, social media graphics, and a Get Immediate Help section with links and phone numbers to a variety of support services.

To learn more, access the COVID-19 Parental Resource Kit: Ensuring Children and Young People's Social, Emotional, and Mental Well-Being, available in a variety of languages, on the CDC website.