Video Series:  Coping with the effects of Covid-19
How Quarantine Affects Mental Health of Children (Dr. Dennis Ougrin)

Dr. Dennis Ougrin, a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist in London, England, shares his insight on the current global situation regarding Covid-19. He explains that although there is little information about the effects of a pandemic on the mental health of children, research of epidemics in various countries shows a rise in emotional disorders. “This spring”, he noted, “we are also seeing a rise in behavioral disorders in children”.

To understand this, there are many factors, which are important to take into account: Parents are spending a lot of time with their children, and often cannot take a much-needed break. Children are not going to school and do not have access to their grandparents.

The unfortunate negative effects of the pandemic and quarantine on children include a rise in child abuse: physical, sexual and emotional.

However, there are also positive effects noted. Certain statistics are seeing a decrease, as explained by Dr. Ougrin “Every year, at this time, we see a rise in children with overdoses or suicide attempts, which can be linked to school: the stress of exams and pressure, which children feel towards themselves and from their parents. This year, we do not see this.”

Reasons for these changes in statistics are not totally clear. “We will have more clarity and understanding once quarantine ends.” explains Dr. Ougrin.

Also observed by Dr. Ougrin is that the current situation of this pandemic shares similarities with a state of war, “ …only the enemy is not external, but internal.”

He explains that, during wartime, suicides tend to decrease; however after war, they increase significantly. This statistic includes not only soldiers, who come back from the front lines, but also people who had no close contact to active warfare.

This is why after the end of quarantine and the many limitations we experience with it, and after the decrease in illness and death of those affected by Covid-19, there is a projection of increase in suicides. However, we cannot know this yet for sure.

Dr. Ougrin reinforces the importance to be vigilant and observe all the data and statistics over the next few months, since this will not be the last pandemic to affect humanity.

This is why, he explains, it is important to closely monitor the tendencies in mental health during pandemics and quarantine, to create a plan of action, which can be used for the future.

A second video with Dr. Dennis Ougrin will shortly follow, in which he will explain how to care for children and adolescents during this time.

Video by: Adriana Luhovy and Yana Kreminska
Project Coordinator: Yana Kreminska
Editing and Motion Graphics: Adriana Luhovy (https://www.adrianaluhovy.com)
Transcription: Mariana Karapinka, Yana Kreminska
Translation (Ukrainian to English): Adriana Luhovy, Yana Kreminska

Mental Health Expert: Dr. Dennis Ougrin, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation and Course Director for the MSc in Child and Adolescent Mental Health at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IOPPN).

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