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School nursing intervention for COVID-19-related mental health issues in the school health office

02 October 2021
11 min read
Volume 2 · Issue 5

Abstract

The purpose of this review is to discuss the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the mental, physical and social health of children and young people aged 0–18 years, better understand the risk factors for these issues and explore available interventions to promote optimal health in this population globally. The risk factors, including increased screen time, economic instability, pre-existing mental illness and isolation, are explored in relation to their impact on paediatric health and wellbeing. Current mental health trends, including elevated rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide, and gaps in the available literature are discussed. The impact of the pandemic on overall health, nutrition, physical activity, household environments and sleep are also analysed in relation to possible school nurse interventions for children, parents, and communities in developing solutions to improve the health of children and adolescents. As a result of this review, the authors found significant negative correlations between children and adolescents' mental health and COVID-19 restrictions, such as altered social interaction, disturbed sleep, changes in level of exercise, and altered dietary habits.

Researchers have stated that children and adolescents may be extremely vulnerable to the biopsychosocial stressors brought about by the pandemic, as a result of their limited understanding of the pandemic and restricted coping strategies (Imran et al, 2020; de Figueiredo et al, 2021). COVID-19 is expected to give rise to many mental health problems in children and adolescents, as well as worsen those that already exist (Imran et al, 2020; de Figueiredo et al, 2021). Because youth are especially vulnerable to stressors during developmentally sensitive times, their mental health during and after the pandemic requires heightened attention (Courtney et al, 2020; Golberstein et al, 2020). If children are left untreated, mental health problems can lead to negative health and social outcomes in the future (Golberstein et al, 2020).

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