The Mental Health Impact of COVID-19 on Families
If you asked any of us a year ago what would life be like in 2020, it’s doubtful anyone would have guessed we’d be living through a global pandemic, requiring lockdowns and self-quarantining. At the beginning of the year, some families might have thought being forced to stay home from work and school would be fun, like a little vacation. But as the weeks and months have passed, we’ve all learned this has been difficult.
But how is COVID affecting families? Well, it affects parents, children, and spouses a little differently.
How it Affects Children
Kids haven’t enjoyed the time off nearly as much as we all initially thought. Disruption to normal routines caused many teens and adolescents to feel anxiety. Add to this being away from their friends, and many young people are also feeling sad, lonely or even depressed.
Summer vacation for many children was very different that they expected due to travel and activity restrictions. Boredom has set in for many kids, which has led to acting out and mood swings.
The pandemic also negatively impacted those youths already suffering from a mental health issue, such as those on the autism spectrum. For many of these children, a disruption of routine combined with cancellation of speech therapy sessions has stalled their progress and increased anxiety.
With some schools opening and some only offering online classes, life is still not back to normal and many children are struggling to manage the ongoing uncertainty.
How it Affects Parents
Parents have, without question, been hit hard by the pandemic. With forced school closures, many parents have had to learn how to home school while also learning how to work from home.
As if that wasn’t enough, parents have also had to become mental health therapists, helping their children navigate through the fear, anxiety, boredom, and depression they are experiencing.
How it Affects Spouses
Quarantining and self-isolation have definitely impacted our familial and romantic relationships. When you are locked in a house with your family, things can become chaotic and, well, everyone gets on each other’s nerves. Now forced to spend a lot of time together, while also enduring financial hardships, worrying about health, and educating and organizing the children—just going grocery shopping can become very stressful.
For those couples who had relationship issues under the surface, they may find the sudden and intense stress has brought these issues to the fore. This can be a turning point for many relationships: will this current crisis bring us closer or finally drive us apart?
Without question, we are all living with an intense amount of stress and it is affecting us all in different ways. If you and your family struggling to manage the stress, it’s important that you reach out and get some help from a counsellor. We offer telehealth services, which means you can get the benefits of therapy right over the internet.
If you’d like to explore treatment options, please reach out to us. We would be more than happy to discuss how we may be able to help.