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Children and Young People’s Social, Emotional, and Mental Health

Updated: Apr 14

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) can affect children and young people directly and indirectly. Beyond getting sick, many young people’s social, emotional, and mental well-being has been impacted by the pandemic. Trauma faced at this developmental stage can continue to affect them across their lifespan.



Some of the challenges children and young people face during the COVID-19 pandemic relate to:

  • Changes in their routines (e.g., having to physically distance from family, friends, worship community)

  • Breaks in continuity of learning (e.g., virtual learning environments, technology access and connectivity issues)

  • Breaks in continuity of health care (e.g., missed well-child and immunization visits, limited access to mental, speech, and occupational health services)

  • Missed significant life events (e.g., grief of missing celebrations, vacation plans, and/or milestone life events)

  • Lost security and safety (e.g., housing and food insecurity, increased exposure to violence and online harms, threat of physical illness and uncertainty for the future)



CDC developed this COVID-19 Parental Resource Kit: Ensuring Children and Young People’s Social, Emotional, and Mental Well-being to help support parents, caregivers, and other adults serving children and young people in recognizing children and young people’s social, emotional, and mental health challenges and helping to ensure their well-being.


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