CE Article: Mental Health Challenges for Children and Youth During the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Occupational Therapy Perspective
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SKU: CEA0621

Publisher: AOTA Continuing Education

Published: 2021

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Product Overview

Megan McKim, MOT, OTR/L

Behavioral Health Clinical Manager

Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Columbus, Ohio

 

Lindy L. Weaver, PhD, MOT, OTR/L

Assistant Professor

The Ohio State University

Columbus, Ohio

 

Madison Sternberg, OTD, OTR/L

Behavioral Health Occupational Therapist

Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Columbus, Ohio

 

Earn .1 AOTA CEU (1.25 NBCOT PDU/1 contact hour)

 

Abstract

The number of children and adolescents in the United States experiencing a mental or behavioral health disorder has been consistently climbing for several decades (Whitney & Peterson, 2019). Although the COVID-19 pandemic remains an ongoing and evolving situation, early data trends indicate that the state of pediatric mental health in our country has further worsened as the pandemic has progressed (Mental Health America [MHA], 2020). Without consistent access to school programming, prosocial activities, mood-stabilizing routines, and other key protective factors, children and youth are experiencing high degrees of occupational disruption that can be inextricably linked to the decline in their mental health and well-being.

 

Additionally, there are clear personal, environmental, and client factors that may increase a youth’s risk of experiencing poor mental or behavioral health outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through our distinct skill set and holistic approach, occupational therapy practitioners are well poised to meet the needs of youth experiencing or at heightened risk for developing mental and behavioral health pathology, including depression, anxiety, suicidality, and self-injurious behaviors.

 

Learning Objectives

1. Describe emerging trends in pediatric anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicidality before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

2. Distinguish key areas of occupations, resources, and routines that have been disrupted for youth during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as examine the potential effects of these disruptions on pediatric mental and behavioral health and quality of life

3. Recognize personal, environmental, and client factors that may increase a youth’s risk profile for mental or behavioral health decompensation

4. Identify distinct roles that occupational therapy practitioners can fulfill to promote occupational well-being and enhance functioning across different tiers of service

 

Learning Level: Intermediate

 

Target Audience: Occupational Therapy Practitioners and Occupational Therapy Assistants

 

Content Focus: Occupational Therapy Domain and Process; Professional Issues

 

Reference Information:

McKim, Megan, MOT, OTR/L; Weaver, Lindy L., PhD, MOT, OTR/L; Sternberg, Madison, OTD, OTR/L

 

(CEA June, 2021) Mental Health Challenges for Children and Youth During the
COVID-19 Pandemic: An Occupational Therapy Perspective