Mental health resources for parents as pandemic continues

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Posted at 7:31 AM, Sep 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-27 09:31:32-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As the pandemic continues to wear on, studies show parents are worn out. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is releasing some research that shows nearly 70% of caregivers have shown adverse mental health symptoms during the pandemic, and 55% of them say it's showing as depression and anxiety.

Experts say the key is to get control of it while you can because kids, perhaps not surprisingly, pick up on our cues as parents. Between the stress of virtual learning, trying to keep your family healthy, and the political divisiveness, it can be a lot for many parents.

Sissy Goff, the Director of Child & Adolescent Counseling at Daystar Counseling here in Nashville, says our kids can even begin reading and reacting to our behavior even at young ages.

"[Kids] brains are actually changing based on [us] how we're acting and how we're feeling," says Goff. "Even outside of the pandemic, there's this genetic component to depression and anxiety...where if you as a parent are anxious, kids are seven times more likely to inherit it genetically."

Goff says kids learn more from observation, so they're picking up a lot more from how we're acting than what we're telling them. According to Psychology Today, there are a few ways to seek assistance if you're struggling with your mental health.

1. Find some safe, social support from fellow parents.
2. Seek some help from a professional.
3. Don't be afraid to ask for help from family and friends if you're overwhelmed
4. Cut yourself some slack! No parent is perfect, and a few frozen dinners and screen time when it's been a stressful day aren't the end of the world.

Studies continue to show the most important thing is a loving relationship with your kids.