For adolescents in the midst of the process of changes associated with their growth and development, empowerment is not easy in times of a pandemic. For a person who tries to identify himself, to structure himself as an adult in the making and who tries more to understand himself in the eyes of his peers than in the arms of his parents or his family, the pandemic is hard.
How to express yourself? How to meet basic development needs? Let’s increase the level of understanding and propose solutions!
No one is invulnerable
While it is true that the adolescent sometimes has a particular way of expressing what he or she is going through, the fact remains that he or she can feel affected and vulnerable. And, often, the stronger the reaction, the stronger the need for protection of one’s inner world. Adolescents are strong and resilient, but also vulnerable.
They have one great quality: supporting each other. But in these exceptional times, they – they have a lot of things to do with it.
COVID-19 has dramatically affected life in general, and scientific studies are starting to tell us what we are going through. It is therefore now demonstrated that “overall, the pandemic and the containment measures have been shown to have had negative repercussions on the mental health of children and adolescents. […] More vulnerable groups include:
- children and adolescents with a pre-existing diagnosis of anxiety, eating and autism spectrum disorder (especially if there is a comorbid factor with attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder),
- young people living in families economically affected by the pandemic or already facing economic difficulties, and
- those whose parents have a high level of psychological distress due to the pandemic or with pre-existing mental health issues. In addition, the context of a pandemic can increase instances of child abuse and inter-family violence. “*
Of course ! Listening, providing a safe reception area, providing them with a host of information and help resources.
Stress, fear of contracting the virus, anxiety, symptoms associated with depression can especially be felt in everyone. Parents should also take shelter and take care of themselves.
The needs for intimacy, autonomy, to have a goal, to keep the motivation, to learn to manage his emotions, to understand what is going on inside him, to discover himself sexually … mission possible, it suffices to create the appropriate framework. Listen to him, validate him in his feelings, maintain the bond of trust through discussion and not through confrontation. Do not hesitate to use the available resources:
CISSS in your region
* Source: Supporting the mental health of children and adolescents in a context of pandemic and containment: Exploratory review of interventions and ethical challenges, Quintessence flight. 11, issue S4, August 2020, by Marjorie Montreuil, Aline Bogossian, Chantal Camden, Christine Genest, Elsa Gilbert, Geneviève Piché, Jessica Rassy