The Impact of the Pandemic on Mental Health in Children and Adults

In the YouTube video, experts in mental health discuss how the pandemic has impacted children and adults.

Two panelists met to discuss the pandemic’s effect on children’s mental health.

 Julie Carbray, a clinical professor of Psychiatry and Nursing at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and director of the Mood Disorder Clinic of UIC, and Dr. Royce Lee, an associate professor in Psychiatry and Behavioural Neuroscience at UIC, were the speakers sharing the experience of the impact on children and adults. Dr. Lee is a past recipient of two BRF seed grants which have assisted in him obtaining over $1.5 million to further his research. While his research has expanded, he continues to follow up on areas around resilience and stress.

The host asked the two panelists to cast their minds back to life before the pandemic and its impact on the mental health of children and adults.

Dr. Carbray responded that this was particularly challenging for children and adolescents. The rate of adolescent suicides was already on the upswing before the pandemic. It was then exacerbated dramatically. She stated that a paper has just been released to execute emergency measures for children’s mental health since more emergency room visits have been evident.

Dr. Lee was asked about the impact the pandemic has had on the mental health of adults. He summed his response up in words, “severely stressed.”

He referred to anecdotes of personal references and the data on record. Running parallel is the increase of psychiatric-related disorders that are stress-related.

When asked what stress means, Dr. Lee responded that we understand and experience stress through our emotions, manifesting in fear, anger, and worry. Furthermore, he mentioned that stress results in unseen internal effects within our bodies, like inflammation and the release of stress hormones. Some of these are inside our heads, like how we relate to past experiences, linking current affairs, and relating to those around us. One of the most challenging things about stress is how it affects society. He brought to light how people communicate with each other and how they stay connected.

Undoubtedly, the result of the pandemic on the mental health of people, in general, has been dire.

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