Health experts are concerned about the effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the mental health of the general population, particularly the children. According to health experts, children are some of the most affected by the pandemic because of the repeated lockdowns and the sudden and significant changes in everyone’s lifestyle.
Governments have enforced lockdowns or heavily restricted movements to try and stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. These rules have changed life for everyone, with people stuck at home and often isolated away from their friends and loved ones.
While isolation is already a problem during normal times, being alone during the pandemic can significantly worsen an individual’s overall well-being.
Health experts are most concerned about the children, who aren’t as emotionally mature to deal with changes like remote schooling for months and being away from their friends for so long. The pandemic has also been linked to “grave mental health consequences” and an “international epidemic” of suicide among children.
In a telephone interview with the Associated Press, Dr. David Greenhorn from the emergency department at England’s Bradford Royal Infirmary said that he is particularly concerned about the suicide attempts, that have gone up from two per week pre-pandemic to several cases every day.
After months of starving himself, 11-year-old Pablo’s heartbeat has slowed and his kidneys were failing. His parents were worried and they were barely in time for their son to receive fluids and be fed through a tube.
Jerome, who agreed to discuss his son’s illness, asked that they not be identified by their surname. He is torn by the pain of seeing Pablo “destroying himself,” shared Jerome, Pablo’s father.
Pablo is only one among many young patients that health experts are treating at the Robert Debré Hospital, the busiest in France. The Paris pediatric hospital where his parents took Pablo has recorded twice the number of children and young teenagers requiring treatment after attempted suicides since September 2020.
Doctors in other countries are also worried about similar surges and some children as young as eight are “deliberately running into traffic, overdosing on pills and otherwise self-harming.”
According to France’s Education Ministry, child and adolescent suicides hit record levels in 2020. Read more…