Concerned what the coronavirus lockdown has done to your children? You are not alone.
"I myself have had parents call me concerned about the effects that the extreme social isolation has had on some of their kids with either special needs or mental illness," says Dr. Michelle Cretella.
All of us are hardwired to connect, adds Cretella, with the need to gather with extended family and friends.
“When that doesn't happen, you will see, and anecdotally now, there is a growing chorus of physicians who are seeing more youth with more symptoms of depression, anxiety, (and) suicide attempts, for example,” Cretella warns.
Cretella is among the signers of a recent letter to President Trump pushing him to end the "national shutdown" amid concerns of negative health consequences if people do not get out and interact.
What began with lots of “unknowns” about the pandemic in the first few weeks, she tells OneNewsNow, has now revealed the virus is serious in hotspots but, overall, is not as deadly as we feared.
For some children with already diagnosed mental health issues, the regular therapy sessions they were getting at school went away during the lockdowns.
"Some of these kids have gotten so depressed they won't get out of bed, they won't leave their rooms," Cretella continues. "So it's these downstream effects that we as health care professionals, and society at large, need to open our eyes and say, Whoa, you know what? There is a lot of harm coming from other sources beyond COVID-19."