We face many personal, relationship, economic, social and health difficulties. In addition, the COVID pandemic has caused an increase in psychological and psychiatric symptoms. Thus, several studies report that in Spain, during the pandemic, 32.7% have felt down, depressed or hopeless, with a high consumption of psychopharmaceuticals (9.8%). 85.7% of parents perceived changes in their children’s mental health, mainly with difficulties in concentration and irritability.
In addition, many parents need to combine teleworking with childcare, supervision of academic tasks and without the help of other caregivers, which has increased the difficulties in cohabitation.
According to some studies, more than 20% of minors present during childhood some type of mental pathology that requires specialized attention.
In the last year, primary care pediatric services and mental health referrals have seen an increase in consultations for anxiety, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, depression, self-injury and somatization. In addition, eating disorders have doubled, are more severe and require more admissions than before the pandemic.
Pediatricians and mental health professionals have urged official institutions to get involved in promoting and implementing preventive measures in child and adolescent mental health, and to provide and improve care resources for this population group. The consequences of not addressing mental health conditions extend into adulthood, affecting both physical and mental health and limiting opportunities to lead a full life as an adult.