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A Children's Mental Health Pandemic in Oregon

 

A recent article from Oregon Public Broadcasting is highlighting the research from a study out Monday from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The study examined children's wellness and uses data from the National Survey of Children’s Health. It found that in Oregon from 2016 to 2020, the number of children reporting depression and anxiety actually increased by a staggering 40%. As a mental health professional, I can only imagine that that percentage increased during the subsequent years of an ongoing pandemic.

As we know from the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) study, we can actually offset the effect of an ACE by positive social connections and parental resilience. It's important to be a positive role model for kids and to check in with parents to make sure they are doing okay. Physical activity is an evidence based strategy that helps to reduce anxiety and depression. Families can use outdoor activities as a way to bond and increase wellbeing across the lifespan. Just make sure to drink plenty of water and use sunscreen during this heatwave!

Now, more than ever, we must take action to ensure that children are supported and safe. The way to accomplish that is to work together. It is always the right time to be kind and do not underestimate the value of a positive word or a smile. We must take care of each other and make sure people know that they are not alone.

For more information and to read the article, please visit: https://www.opb.org/article/20...pandemic-oregon-usa/

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