As we near the one year mark of the pandemic research is trickling in on the psychological effects on children and adults. Finally, with some light at the end of this dark tunnel we will begin to see improvements in these statistics over the coming months. Hope and optimism can buffer our kids and mitigate these issues from becoming long-term mental health problems. What we do know is the effects of this pandemic on our children can be compared to those of children who have survived natural disasters. A study of 10,000 high school students revealed that classroom students are faring better. They have lower rates of stress and worry than their online peers. However, high school students overall are reporting a 56.4% increase in stress compared to a year ago. Another study indicates there is a 24% increase in mental health visits to emergency rooms among 5-11 year olds and a 31% increase in these visits among teenagers. I’m optimistic we will resume some sense of normalcy sooner rather than later but our kids need our continued support and understanding.