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Maintaining Children's Mental Health In The Period Of A Pandemic

Childhood is a time of growth and development. At this time, parents need to pay attention to growth and development both physically and mentally. Mental development is influenced by mental health, where good mental health will produce good physical health as well.

Mental health is needed so that children can feel good about themselves, enjoy life, and build healthy relationships with others. Mental health can be influenced by various things such as family conditions, school life and play, as well as life events.

During the pandemic, quarantine, restrictions on activities and mobility, as well as changes in routine, such as school and play greatly affected children's mental health. Not to mention those who have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus or have lost relatives due to this Covid-19 virus. Being at home too long or the worries shown by the closest people affect the child's mentality so that they experience depression and anxiety. 22.6% of children experience depression, and 18.9% of children experience anxiety, according to the Wuhan study. Research conducted by Smantha Brooks in mid-June 2020 found that post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) increased in children by 28-34%, and 20% of the research subjects even experienced fear while undergoing quarantine at home.

This can also trigger stress in children, which is characterized by more silence, mood swings, loss of enthusiasm, being alone more, changes in appetite, changes in sleeping patterns, withdrawing from the environment, worrying more easily, or having new habits such as sucking. thumb, nail biting, twirling hair, or grinding teeth.

This is where the role of parents is needed to maintain children's mental health, by spending more time with children, maintaining children's moods, implementing regular eating and sleeping patterns, doing activities together, accompanying and explaining when children watch or read news related to Covid-19, help children connect with others through virtual, do not show anxiety or worries in front of children, and set an example and help children to think positively and optimistically.

By providing positive exposure to children, it is hoped that their mental health will be better. However, if the child shows symptoms of stress as above that interfere with daily activities, please consult a psychologist for further examination and early treatment.

Mothers and fathers can download the mDoc application to consult with a child psychologist to get counseling on children's mental development.