Kids and Mental Health

Listen 49:00
(Photo by Monstera from Pexels)

(Photo by Monstera from Pexels)

We’ve heard it again and again — kids are resilient. But they’re also sensitive, with social and emotional needs every bit as complex as adults’. They’re still figuring out how the world works, and they depend on structure and stability — along with love and support — to feel safe and confident as they learn to navigate the world. Which is why the pandemic and the lockdowns have been especially tough for many kids, taking a major toll on their mental health.

On this episode, we look at kids and mental health, asking how they’ve made it through the past year-and-a-half, and what lessons they’ve learned.

We hear stories about dealing with the grief of losing loved ones, how virtual school is affecting kids’ social development, and why we’re seeing a rising suicide rate among Black children.

Also heard on this week’s episode:

  • Kids don’t just learn academic skills in school— it’s a place for them to develop social skills and a sense of how the world works. Reporter Jad Sleiman explores how remote learning could be affecting kids’ social development.
  • WHYY student reporters Trinity Hunt and Mya Blackwood get the lowdown on why 70% of teens aren’t getting enough sleep.
  • We talk with psychologist Teresa Hsu-Walklet about how the pandemic has affected children’s mental health. Hsu-Walklet is the Assistant Director for pediatric behavioral health at the Montefiore Medical Group in the Bronx, in New York City.
  • This episode was produced in collaboration with students from WHYY’s Pathways to Media Careers, Youth Employment Program. Our student reporters were Mya Blackwood, Trinity Hunt, Ana Mercado, and Jacob Smollen. Special thanks to WHYY Media Lab instructor Gabriel Perez Setright and youth employment specialist Colleen Cassidy.

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