Check in on your child’s mental health and wellbeing

Melissa Heinen

I’ve always enjoyed Michigan summers and the opportunities they bring for children to get outdoors, to explore and to play. Following a year and a half of COVID-19 concerns, summer is a welcome opportunity for children to get back to the sports and activities they love.

Unfortunately, for many youths in our community, re-entry into the world is not as easy as it may seem. More than a year of social isolation during the pandemic has magnified issues in children and adolescents struggling with anxiety and depression.

There have been studies regarding the relationship between loneliness and mental health in healthy children and adolescents. We know social isolation and loneliness can increase the risk of depression, even a decade later. Throughout the country, pediatricians are concerned that the loneliness experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic will likely affect the future mental health and wellbeing of our youth.