COVID-19 and Client Care
The World Health Organization identified the Coronavirus (COVID-19) as a global pandemic on March 11th, 2020. Our hearts mourn the loss of so many individuals who have died and suffered. Given the uncertain nature of COVID-19 and the threat it poses, it is quite natural for human beings to experience fear and stress at increased rates. The pandemic significantly impacted not only the medical needs of individuals around the world, but also psychological. Information shared on this page is provided in an effort to normalize reactions to the COVID-19 public health crisis, while also fostering a sense of unity for the clients we serve. Learn more information about COVID-19's impact here.
Impact on Children and Adolescents’ Mental Health
The COVID-19 pandemic forced many families to shelter in place, causing children and adolescents to engage in distance learning and caregivers to work form home. Naturally, many families spend more time together while at home, generating new and different ways of communicating between parents and children.
Children and adolescents could experience an uptick in a range of mental health problems including depression, anxiety, grief, isolation, and interpersonal problems. Many children worry about the risk of infection, while others are concerned about the impact on friendships. In addition, given travel restrictions and quarantine protocols many children are separated from their parents or caregivers.
Adolescents may experience similar emotional and behavioral responses to the pandemic, while also appearing withdrawn, anxious, or depressed. At times, adolescents may work to conceal their emotions in an effort to “save face” for family and friends. Adolescents may also experience important social activities in different ways, for example after school activities that are presented virtually.
Impact on Adult Mental Health
COVID-19 generated myriad physical, behavioral, emotional, and social problems for adults. According to the CDC, the general adult population experienced a rapid surge of depressive disorders and anxiety disorders. Changes in daily routines given quarantining procedures have forced people to work from home, loss of employment, financial distress, and disconnect from social relationships. While social distancing efforts function to stop the spread of the virus, at the same time, stress levels are on the rise. Some adults may be more vulnerable to suicidal ideation and substance abuse given these environmental changes.
Behavioral Health Disparities and Racial Minorities
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, racial and ethnic minority communities experienced disparities in a combination of physical and mental health problems. Such problems include elevated rates of heart disease, diabetes, asthma. Specific environmental stressors that might exacerbate physical or psychiatric symptoms include access to care. COVID-19 infections did not cause these pre-existing medical conditions and disparities, and at the same time it has worsened symptomology.
Studies indicate that communities of color are disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Coronavirus infection case rates, hospitalizations, and death rates are more prevalent in communities of color including African Americans, Latinx, and Native Americans in the United States, according to a recent study cited by the New York Times.
Telebehavioral Health and COVID-19
Following the advent of COVID-19, the mental health industry was revolutionized. Given the sheer magnitude of harmful medical and psychological effects of the COVID-19 public health crisis, telebehavioral health services are utilized to meet treatment needs worldwide. In some cases, telebehavioral health services can be offered across state lines (under special conditions), in rural environments, and to new or pre-existing clients.
Will EMH Offer In-Person Psychotherapy Services during the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis?
Currently, EMH offers telebehavioral health services to virtually provide psychotherapy services to children, families, and adults. Telebehavioral health services will be offered for the protection and welfare of clients and staff alike.
However, the EMH staff actively stays abreast of current research, federal and state policies, and overall best safety practices to insure the highest quality care for children and families. A hybrid telebehavioral health and in-person service model will begin in August 2021.
Should you feel dissatisfied with a telebehavioral health format, we will help you in identifying other providers who issue in-person services.
COVID-19 Helpful Reading
Combating bias and stigma related to COVID-19 (apa.org)
COVID-19 Guidance for Youth (yale.edu)
COVID-19 Information and Resources | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness
How COVID-19 impacts sexual and gender minorities (apa.org)
How to Help Young People Cope With Grief and Loss During COVID-19 | MGH Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds
How to Talk to Teens & Young Adults About Social Distancing | Psychology Today
Quaranteenagers: Strategies for Parenting in Close Quarters - The New York Times (nytimes.com)
Research roundup: How COVID-19 impacts African Americans (apaservices.org)
Accessing Community Help
The Eldercare Locator: 1-800-677-1116
National Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4ACHILD
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
United Way: 211
Veteran’s Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)