HOUSTON - More than a year into the pandemic, studies show the drastic impact mental health has on children.
You might not realize it, but your child could be suffering.
The jolt of change brought by the pandemic is a concern for Dulce Ramirez.
"All the kids had to go to virtual school, it was a huge transition of changing them from one thing to another and excluding them from being with kids and going out and having fun," said Ramirez.
Like many parents, she had to help teach her 7-year-old for more than a year.
"I became her teacher, every single day she would see me and she couldn’t interact with kids. Only through a screen and it was just so difficult. I did have to ask her everyday ‘ hey are you OK?’'"
That’s exactly what you should be asking according to Dr. Lokesh Shahani a psychiatrist and chief medical officer at UT Health Harris County Psychiatric Center.
"We are seeing a lot more emergency use of kids when it comes to a mental health condition and an increase in suicidal tendencies when it comes to kids. Those are two things we have definitely seen have an upward trend," said Dr. Shahani. "Rather than being judgmental and saying I think there’s something wrong, asking a child ‘I see that you are struggling, what is going on? I am here to listen to you.’
Dr. Shahni says providing an atmosphere of being reassured and trusting is something that kids appreciate and tend to open up about their feelings.