COVID Orphan Impact
"More than 167,000 kids in the U.S. have lost at least one parent or primary caregiver to COVID-19.
Dr. Charles Nelson coined the term COVID orphans to describe children who have lost one or both parents and primary caregivers, to the disease. One in four adult deaths to COVID-19 leaves a child orphaned or left without a caregiver — something the Harvard University professor of pediatrics and psychiatry describes as a hidden cost of the pandemic." ... WBUR
According to the Ohio Department of Health as of March 9, 2022, Cuyahoga County OH recorded 3,672 Covid-19 deaths. At just one child for every five deaths, it's likely there are over 700 Covid orphans in Northeast Ohio. For now, focusing on heroic healthcare workers and first responder's children, stepchildren and grandchildren is a manageable objective.
Poor Mental Health is a Growing Problem for Adolescents
CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Data Summary & Trends Report: 2009-2019pdf icon highlights concerning trends about the mental health of U.S. high school students.
More than 1 in 3 high school students had experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in 2019, a 40 percent increase since 2009.
In 2019, approximately 1 in 6 youth reported making a suicide plan in the past year, a 44% increase since 2009.
Elementary and Middle School
Youth with mental health disorders are more likely to be unhappy at school, be absent, or be suspended or expelled. Their learning is negatively impacted because of poor concentration, distractibility, inability to retain information, poor peer relationships, and aggressive behavior. They also may be withdrawn and difficult to engage.
During any given school year, children and youth with mental health disorders may miss as many as 18 to 22 days.1
The rates of suspension and expulsion of children and youth with mental disorders are three times higher than their peers.2
Youth in high school with mental health disorders are more likely to fail or drop out of school compared to their peers in the general population. They tend to engage in high-risk behaviors including drug and alcohol use and/or suicide attempts, especially those youth who may be significantly depressed because they are shunned or marginalized.
Up to 14 percent of youth with mental health disorders receive mostly Ds and Fs, compared to 7 percent for all children with disabilities.3
Youth with untreated mental illness have high rates of absenteeism and tardiness. Referral to a school-based mental health center or to counseling can help to reduce absenteeism rates by 50 percent and tardiness rates by 25 percent.4
Only 32 percent of students with a serious mental illness continue onto postsecondary education.7 ... Youth.gov