Family Mental Health Crisis
Woman's Era|May 2021
Parental anxiety and depression during the pandemic will affect kids too.
Vidhya P

Parental anxiety and depression is a pervasive problem. A large and growing body of research proves that it is a major risk factor for difficulties in a child’s life. Depression disrupts a parent’s ability to work, parent, and participate in the community.

For most parents, the covid-19 pandemic has been stressful would be a dramatic understatement. The combination of financial pressure, loss of child care and health concerns are exceedingly challenging for families. Mental health problems are expected to rise dramatically as a secondary effect of Covid-19 and the measures that have been put in place to contain it.

The potential long-term consequences on children from increased parental stress, anxiety and depression are only beginning to be understood.

However, past research tells us that the children exposed to these problems are more likely to experience mental health problems themselves, in addition to developing an increased risk of learning and behaviour problems and reduced economic mobility throughout their lives.

We need to develop an approach that helps the parents and also protects the children’s future.

Escalation in parental anxiety and depression

Recent studies have found that pregnant mothers and those with young children are experiencing three- to five-fold increase in self-reported anxiety and depression symptoms. A history of mental illness, current domestic conflict and financial stress were associated with worse mental health across multiple child age groups. These figures are especially concerning because young children are highly vulnerable to maternal mental illness due to their near total reliance on caregivers to meet basic health and safety needs.

Parenting stress associated with mental illness can lead to negative interactions, including harsh discipline and being less responsive to children’s needs. For parents, depression contributes to various health problems and low quality of life. Suicide is a leading cause of death for women of child-bearing age that we expect to increase should high rates of mental health problems continue to be unaddressed.

How does parental anxiety and depression affect children?

Parental anxiety and depression shapes not only a parent’s perception of the world, but also a child’s experience of the world internally and externally. Depressed parents have been found to interact with their children differently, in ways that affect the child’s development. For example, depressed mothers have been found to use less emotion and expressivity in their language with their babies. And they make less eye contact.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine


Flower Power

It’s flower season! We’re celebrating with six beautiful blooms that heal.

3 mins read
Better Nutrition
May 2021

The Pandemic Will Make Kids Or Break Them

The COVID-19 era has worked as a stress test for parents and kids alike, breaking some while bringing out reserves of strength and resilience in others.

3 mins read
Reason magazine
June 2021

Managing Mental Illness Can Be a Team Effort

Like so many people—and so many entrepreneurs— my husband and business partner struggles with his mental health. I’m speaking up so others know: With the right understanding, life and business can still be good.

3 mins read
April - May 2021


This new year may look socially different than years past, and considering the added stress, limited sleep and typical holiday overindulgence most of us experienced last month, it’s even more necessary than usual to let our bodies recover and regenerate in this post-holiday season.

4 mins read
Natural Solutions
February 2021

4 EXPERT TIPS FOR Men to Age Gracefully

We all want to believe that we get better with age, but growing older can often make a man feel more like a broken-down beater than a classic car. Luckily, it is possible to handle the process with strength and integrity. Try a modern approach to aging gracefully with these four steps,” says Dr. Spar.

2 mins read
Natural Solutions
February 2021

“Take Two Kittens and Call Me In the Morning”

Can Cats Help Humans Be Healthier?

8 mins read
Cat Talk
February 2021



1 min read
Alternative Medicine
February 2021

Lift Your Own Spirits

We all feel down now and then, especially lately. These techniques can help you bounce back.

6 mins read
Reader's Digest US
March 2021

Eat to Keep Your Spirits Up

When it comes to staying motivated and keeping a positive outlook, diet can make all the difference.

3 mins read
Better Nutrition
February 2021

Do You Need Stress?

“The ways and means are available to me...The only question to be asked then is: ‘How much discomfort am I willing to sit with before I invite the answer to be revealed?’”—Dale Jukes

4 mins read
Transformation Magazine
February 2021