MESA COUNTY, Colo. — Physical health isn’t the only thing impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many people are concerned about how the pandemic may be hurting our mental and emotional well-being, especially in children. Local experts say– concerns are valid, but there are resources.
“The need for mental health has gone way up in the last 5 to 6 years,” says Jonathan Burke, the coordinator for Mental Health and Crisis for Mesa County School District 51.
But there’s a concern that with all the stress, isolation, economic downturn and social disruption brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic, there might be an even greater drop in the well being of people. And particularly, our youth. “There are more things that feel more uncertain, which does increase anxiety and depression symptoms in individuals,” says Kathy Capps, the Director of Operations at Mind Springs Health.
And though no specific data has been produced yet locally, a representative of Mesa County School District 51 says they are expecting an increase in mental health issues in local schools.”Violence in the homes, divorces brought on by economic challenges, students and families struggling with drug use, alcohol use, they tend to go up as the economy goes down,” says Burke.
D-51 is currently working on a mental wellness plan to help make students’ transitions back to their school lives as smooth as possible.