NIH director encourages scientists to study impact of pandemic on mental health of children

Published: May. 25, 2021 at 4:00 PM CDT
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(CNN) – The National Institutes of Health wants scientists to submit grant applications to study the mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on children.

Specifically, the agency would like them to look into the impact of remote learning and reduced social interaction.

NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins said the pandemic has been an “incredible, unprecedented challenge” for kids and their mental health.

There are a couple of key questions, he believes.

“What has it meant for them to be out of school, which is normally the place where a lot of socialization and education happens, for this prolonged period?” Collins asked.

“What about this issue of being fearful of an illness that might actually affect your families, might suddenly be blamed on you if you were the one who happened to bring the illness in?”

Earlier research showed that even healthy children have had some developmental setbacks and delays during the pandemic.

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