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Students who were in sixth through 12th grades in February 2020 are invited to take an anonymous online survey as part of a study on COVID-19 and mental health.

Published Jul 12th, 2021

By Casandra Andrews

Seeking to better understand the mental health impacts of COVID-19 on middle and high school students, USA Health pediatric cardiologist Athira Nair, M.D., is inviting adolescents who were in grades six through 12 between February 2020 and June 2021 to complete an anonymous online survey.

“I started noticing of lot of children in my clinic were clinically depressed or their parents were talking about their child being depressed,” Nair said. “We also know that social isolation in this age group can lead to mental health issues.”

Nair, with assistance from second-year medical student Justin R. Penninger, created an online survey aimed at students who were in at least sixth grade and no older than a senior in high school when the pandemic emerged in the United States in February 2020.

Research shows that, each year, one in six young people in the United States between the ages of 6 and 17 experiences a mental health disorder each year. Half of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Penninger said, one of the biggest challenges adolescents have faced was moving school from in-classroom learning to online platforms, which drastically reshaped the environments where children learn.

"We created a simple five- to 10-minute survey that, ideally, sixth through 12th graders will complete,” Penninger said. “The results hopefully will give us a more realistic insight into the status of adolescent mental health.”

If you know someone who meets the criteria for this survey, please share the link.

“Our children’s mental health is so important,” Nair said. “That’s why we need to study, support and improve resources available to help young people who suffer from these issues.”

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