By Katie Richardson, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Bright by Text
We have heard from many that the COVID-19 pandemic has not only had an impact on the physical health and well-being of parents, caregivers, and their children; but it has also impacted families’ mental and behavioral health. A recent report published in the journal Pediatrics confirmed just that.
A survey of more than 1,100 parents across the country found that more than 25% of parents experienced worsening mental health and nearly 15% reported worsening behavioral health in their children since the coronavirus began. Women, single parents, and families with young children were amongst the most affected, and many of them are not seeking or getting the help they need.
The survey also looked at other areas of difficulty for families including access to food, childcare, and routine healthcare and immunizations for children. As expected, families experiencing worse mental and behavioral health reported more difficulty putting food on the table, loss of childcare, and cancellation or delays in much needed well-child visits and immunizations. We know these are critical needs for families, and many of our Bright by Text community partners are sending regular messages about resources available in your community.
Based on this data, we wanted to share some additional resources with our Bright by Text family. If you’re not okay….that’s okay. But getting help is critical. And knowing where to go is the first step.
If you or someone you know is in immediate crisis or danger, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health and/or a substance use disorder, please call 1-800-662-HELP (4357). This National Helpline provides free, confidential, 24/7 referrals for treatment and information on mental health and substance use in English or Spanish.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). This National Hotline is a free, confidential service available in English and Spanish 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for anyone affected by domestic violence or abuse.
If you are struggling with essential needs such as food, housing, healthcare, and are in need of financial assistance, please visit www.211.org to be connected to local resources in your state.
We know that we are all living in unprecedented times, and many families are struggling. Taking the step to find help can feel like a big one--but every journey starts with one first step. In order to take care of your children, you have to make sure you’re okay too.