February 2023Vol. 24, No. 1Tools Support Emotional Well-Being of Children and Youth
While many children and teens experience feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression, these challenges can be exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. New challenges like social distancing, changes to routine, missed significant life events, and a lost sense of security and safety can leave youth particularly vulnerable.
To help young people build confidence and better cope with adversity, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, convened a group of experts to develop and disseminate a collection of web-based tools based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to promote the mental and emotional well-being of children and youth.
The Tools for Supporting the Emotional Well-Being In Children and Youth webpage presents tools to support children and youth. A 4-minute introductory video, animated in a colorful comic book style for younger audiences, provides an overview of emotional wellness and the CBT skills that that can be learned to support it, including the following:
- Deep breathing
- Calming your mind
- Catch, check, and change your thoughts
- Doing fun or favorite activities
The tools are displayed in two categories—tools for younger children with their parents and tools for youth and teens, and each tool includes a short video and a downloadable PDF in the same comic-book style as the video. Spanish translations are available. Finally, a list of frequently asked questions that includes referrals to additional resources is provided.
While development of these tools began in response to the stressors youth faced because of the COVID-19 pandemic, experts agree that CBT skills may help children experiencing anxiety or trauma related to other issues, such as those involving systemic racism or discrimination based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
Teachers, child welfare professionals, and related professionals may also find these resources helpful in their work with children and families.
For more information, visit the NASEM website.