Mental health among the population has reached new lows. The COVID-19 pandemic had a profound and prevailing toll on the mental well-being of children, well-documented by parents, pediatricians, and psychologists. Suicide has become a leading cause of death for children above the age of 10, and mental health issues were the reason behind a surge of children’s emergency room visits during the first portion of the pandemic.
Congruently, adult mental health has plummeted in recent years with rising rates of substance use disorders, overdoses, and mental health conditions. According to the latest statistics from Mental Health America, nearly 50 million American adults are currently experiencing a mental illness, and over half do not receive any treatment.
Neither of these populations struggles in a vacuum, yet the impact of caregivers’ mental health on that of their children can range from protective to debilitating. As recent research reports, declines in pediatric mental health are strongly associated with parent-driven factors, from maltreatment to parental mental illness.