|Discussing the Effects of COVID 19 from the Family Perspective – Part Two
Over the past year, COVID 19 dramatically transformed every aspect of family life as stay-at-home orders went into effect nationwide. In January 2021, the National Federation of Families (NFF) conducted a national survey to learn from families regarding the effects of COVID 19 related to their children’s education and both their children and their family’s mental health. Receiving over 1100 responses from families in every state and the District of Columbia, NFF has compiled this data to create an infographic that offers a comprehensive look at the struggles our families face with both virtual education and behavioral health. Challenges range from balancing school and work, meeting students’ special education needs, and accessing needed behavioral health services. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected, and these results will serve as the catalyst for the discussions in each webinar.
This topic will be presented as a two-part series. The first will present the data and define the challenges from the family perspective. We will discuss the data findings and delve into the rich, anecdotal information. Part 2 will address the implications for both schools and behavioral health providers. How do schools gear up to support the mental health needs of students with resources that are equitable to those earmarked for physical health issues? How do behavioral health providers meet the needs of families and attempt to mitigate the effects of the pandemic? Equally important is how these two groups partner to ensure that both children and families are receiving the support they need.
By the end of these discussions, it is anticipated that participants will be able to:
· Understand the challenges that families have faced during the pandemic
· Articulate the importance of supporting both mental and physical health needs as students return to in-person learning
· Describe the importance of strong partnership between schools and behavioral health providers
· Sharon A. Hoover, Ph.D. – A licensed clinical psychologist and Professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Co-Director of the National Center for School Mental Health and Director of the Center for Safe Supportive Schools (CS3)
· Melinda Baldwin, Ph.D. – Chief of the Child, Adolescent, & Family Branch in the Center for Mental Health Services at SAMHSA
· Lynda Gargan, Ph.D. – Executive Director, National Federation of Families