Supporting the Mental Health of School-Age Youth in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Brett R. Harris, DrPH
Clinical Associate Professor
Department of Health Policy, Management, and Behavior
University at Albany School of Public Health
With Special Guest:
Mackenzie Varga, Senior Director, Thermo Fisher
Mental health is a significant concern for school-age youth. Though children and adolescents have been challenged by depression, anxiety, substance use, and suicidal ideation prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the pandemic has exacerbated the problem. Last school year, remote and hybrid instruction became the norm in many districts, and students lost regular in-person connections with their teachers, peers, and other school staff including advisors, counselors, and coaches. They also lost access to health and mental health services as well as to the positive effects of participation in sports and clubs. In fact, many schools reported increases in suicide and made plans to get their students back to school as soon as possible. Now that students are back in school, it is incumbent upon schools to provide mental health supports for their students. This presentation will provide an overview of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of school-age youth and will provide guidance to schools on re-establishing connections and routines and supporting the mental health of students and staff.
Following this presentation, participants will be able to:
Presentation will be followed by an update from special guest Mackenzie Varga, a leader in state outreach for school testing and how programs are being administered across the country.
Both speakers will take questions from the audience.