Children's Mental Health Week Shining a Light on Major Need During Pandemic

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This week marks Children's Mental Health Week and there's a major need to let parents know there's help available for their kids.

This from the Executive Director of Children First Essex County, Lori Kempe, who says with lockdowns and school closures the mental well being of children has never been more important.

She says, while they may not show it, many families are struggling.

"We're seeing a large number of referrals from families," she says.  "Lots of questions and worries. Our wait is exasperated because of the effects of the pandemic. So don't strive for perfection at this point. We're all just doing our best and the best is good enough right now."

Kempe says families are getting burnt out.

"We're seeing extreme emotions, aggression, temper tantrums," Kempe says.  "Everybody is tired. So we're trying to wrap supports and services around families both from a children's mental health perspective, but also adults need to take care of their own mental health so they can be well for their families."

She adds parents shouldn't be afraid to reach out for help.

"Parenting is not easy," she says.  "Parents are seeing some extreme outbursts. Everybody is out of routine and out of schedule and that really impacts a whole family. We're just saying don't wait. Just call us and let us walk you through it and we'll talk together and we'll do our best to put supports and strategies in place."

Windsor-Essex has several mental health services available to families and their children — more information can be found at children-first.ca.

— with files from AM800's Patty Handysides

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