The Alberta Medical Association is concerned about “deeply troubling” survey results showing a worsening of the mental health of children in the province.
“It was not a surprise because we’ve been seeing it clinically. The mental health concerns in all ages has really escalated throughout the pandemic,” Dr. Vesta Michelle Warren, AMA president, said.
According to a survey from the AMA conducted via albertapatients.ca, 77% of parents reported the mental health of their child aged 15 and older is “worse” compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Four-in-ten parents of older teens said their child’s mental health is “much worse” today.
“The study itself showed, the older the child was, the more likely they were to have had a negative impact on their mental health throughout the course of the pandemic,” Warren said.
For children between the ages of six and 14, 70% of parents reported their child’s mental health is “worse” than before the pandemic. One half of parents with kids under the age of six also reported some mental health declines in their children.
“When I speak to some of my pediatrician friends, they really see the internet, social media and this ubiquitous use of computers—whether it be a cell phone or iPad or computer itself—as really being one of the big problems with respect to the mental health issues that we’re seeing right now,” Warren said.