It isn’t difficult to see that youth are facing additional stresses due to COVID-19 and its effects. From basic isolation, adverse family situations, fear of the unknown, poverty and mental health struggles, kids are faced with more challenges and adversity than ever before. Medical health professionals are now acknowledging COVID and its effects as a contributing factor toward ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences).
What are ACEs?
“Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood. Toxic stress from ACEs can change brain development and affect how the body responds to stress. ACEs are linked to chronic health problems, mental illness, and substance misuse in adulthood. However, ACEs can be prevented. Preventing ACEs can help children and adults thrive and reduce potential health outcomes. ”- (https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/aces/)
Research shows that there are a number of interventions and supports that can be offered to young people to help neutralize trauma and build resilience in journeying through times of adversities; such as COVID and its effects.
Montreal Youth Unlimited, as always, is committed to these 9 areas of support to ensure our kids are built up in resiliency:
Together, we can positively impact the youth of Quebec and set them up to face the trials and triumphs of tomorrow
A glimpse into the difficulties that COVID can bring in particular:
“In fact, the response to the COVID-19 pandemic may be amplifying some ACEs. There are several ways in which ACEs may be exacerbated by the social isolation, job loss, school closures, and other stressors unleashed by the pandemic. First, the pandemic may have increased intra-familial adversity, by exposing children to increased parental anxieties, especially those associated with job loss, food insecurity, and housing insecurity. Second, by amplifying toxic stress, increased family adversity may impair child brain development, particularly during the early years. Third, the pandemic’s indirect social and economic impact on family stress may linger for months or years. Fourth, the pandemic and its response are disproportionately affecting low-income and ethnic minority populations, which are already at increased risk for ACE-impacted chronic conditions like preterm birth, diabetes, hypertension, and chronic lung disease. Taken together, the indirect effects of the pandemic response could exacerbate each of the common ACEs in children’s lives.” Lee M. Sanders, MD, MPH