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Ongoing disruptions to routine affects children

October 12, 2021 6:08 am

A Mental Health Specialist with the Empower Pacific says children have been emotionally impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Empower Pacific Mental Health Specialist, Prem Singh, says this is because primary caregivers, the parents, have been experiencing a lot of financial constraints and there have been a lot of emotional disturbances and the situation has worsened.

Singh says they have had referrals where they have to deal with behavioural issues including a child running away from home, not listening to parents, and not co-operating with parents.

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The Mental Health Specialist says the ongoing disruption to daily routines is leaving many young people afraid, angry, and worried about their future.

“Children are also going through pain, anguish, and sorrow and we also have young adolescents who have also reported a negative impact on their mental health and wellbeing such as difficulty in sleeping, lack of appetite, suicide ideation among adolescence and of course negative thinking and an increase in kava and cigarette consumption.”

Medical Services Pacific Coordinator Counselling, Jacintha Mama’o says apart from family issues, children also have to deal with disruption to academic life.

A recent report by UNICEF revealed that some 200,000 students, ranging from early childhood education to secondary level have not been able to go to school due to COVID-19.

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