Infectious Disease

AAP continues its efforts to provide pediatric psychological support during the pandemic

December 14, 2021

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The AAP updated its pediatric mental health guidelines in light of results reported earlier this year that the prevalence of anxiety and depression in children doubled during the pandemic.

The updated recommendations came nearly 2 months after the AAP, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Children’s Hospital Association issued a joint statement that there had been “a worsening mental health crisis in children and adolescents” that was through COVID-19 and “the ongoing struggle for racial justice” which is a national emergency.

The AAP updated its guidelines on child mental health during the pandemic. Source: Adobe Stock

According to results published in JAMA Pediatrics in August, about one in four teenagers worldwide has clinically elevated symptoms of depression and about one in five has anxiety – both double estimates before the pandemic.

The AAP said additional treatments and resources may be needed for children and adolescents who are starting out with anxiety and depression and are now at greater risk of exacerbating these symptoms.

The updates included guidance on social health factors that may add stress to children, such as:

“These are difficult times and I know that even though we enjoy a traditionally festive Christmas season, many people suffer,” said AAP President lee Savio Beer, MD, FAAP, it says in a press release. “Pediatricians are in a great position to help families identify signs and symptoms of stress, and to provide resources and security. We know your children and can help you ask questions about whether new behaviors or emotions are typical or require stronger evaluation. We are related. “

The AAP noted that Beers was discussing the issue at a congressional briefing this week.

“We know effective ways to cushion the effects of trauma and stress and to support positive socio-emotional development,” said Beers, according to the AAP. “For many it is very difficult to find and use psychiatric care that offers this help. We need to improve timely access to evidence-based mental health treatment. This means that psychological support is built into our primary care offices, schools and other facilities. “

“The need for urgent action at the national level can seem overwhelming, but each of us can, with small gestures of kindness and effort, help improve relationships within our own families and communities,” Beers said. “We never withdrew [from] find a way forward, even in times of crisis. Now is the time to listen to each other, have compassion and work on solutions together. “

Relation:

Preliminary Guide to Supporting the Emotional and Behavioral Health Needs of Children, Adolescents and Families During the COVID-19 Pandemic. https://www.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/clinical-guidance/interim-guidance-on-supporting-the-emotional-and-behavioral-health-needs- of-children-adolescents-and-families-during-the-covid-19-pandemic /. Published December 14, 2021. Retrieved December 14, 2021.

Racine N, et al. JAMA Pediatrics 2021; doi: 10.1001 / jamapediatrics.2021.2482.

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