The Nassau County Office of Mental Health has released some important tips for helping children and teenagers manage the emotional distress and anxiety they may be experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
They want both parents and caretakers to remember that children and youth often take cues from trusted adults around them, so it is important fo the adults to remain calm, reassuring, and supportive.
In a helpful PDF that the Nassau County department recently released, the Office of Mental Health lists a variety of signs to look for in children and teens who may be having difficulty coping with the stress of the quarantine. A shortlist of some of the signs include:
- Mood Changes
- Sleep Issues
- Changes In Appetite
- Crying Spells
- Clingy Tendencies
- Attention Issues
The document also recommends things you can do to help children such as allowing them to express their feelings and ask questions and by offering them reassurance that your family is doing everything it can to keep them safe.
They go on to explain that making sure your child stays active with things such as online workout videos and other indoor activities like reading and playing board games can help reduce their stress levels.
Also, creating a schedule for them that outlines a daily routine, and limiting their access and exposure to media outlets is another helpful step you can take to reduce their anxiety.
If your child seems to have difficulty adjusting to the current situation, reach out to a mental health professional for guidance. Please call the Nassau County Helpline at 516-227-TALK (8255) to learn about resources available in the community. You can also download the Nassau CARES app.