Mental Wellness Support for Kids and Teens During the Pandemic

Available with English captions and subtitles in Hindi and Spanish.

Many families find themselves in a unique situation: managing children who are out of school, stuck at home, and with their lives disrupted.

This unprecedented experience has caused disruption—and confusion—for many students. Not only has the classroom disappeared or become digital, but milestones, athletic endeavors, and social circles have been affected tremendously.

Dr. Lisa Coyne discusses supporting the mental health of K-12 students, including talking about the foundations of coping and suggesting ways to navigate the newfound social and learning environments.

This content is also available in Spanish.

Audience Questions

Dr. Coyne also answers questions from attendees, including:

  • Does teletherapy work as well as in-person therapy?
  • What advice do you have for parents to stay calm and be less anxious around their kids?
  • Do you have any advice for parents with kids who are waiting for psychiatric appointments but don’t have access to appropriate medication or the parents haven’t been able to go through emotional regulation exercises with their kid?
  • Many high school and college seniors are missing out on social opportunities and milestones (prom, graduation, etc.). How can parents handle the short-term or long-term depression this is causing? How can they approach it in an empathetic but workable way, so their kids don’t feel like they’re being patronized by their parents?
  • As a parent, how do you set the groundwork for forgiving yourself, knowing that everybody’s home situation is going to be different?
  • What is screen time doing to our mental health, if anything?
  • How do you balance the need for kids to have social stimulation and connection with others through gaming or classroom time with the possibility that they might be getting Zoom headaches or virtual burnout?
  • We’re going to get back to normal, we’re going to be able to go out in public, we’re going to be able to live our lives again. How do we help our kids with the anxiety they may have about possibly getting sick? And how do we keep ourselves from being worked up about what happens when we get back to normal?


Parents and children may also find these resources helpful:

About Dr. Coyne

Lisa W. Coyne, PhD, is an assistant professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry, part-time, at Harvard Medical School, and is a senior clinical consultant at the Child and Adolescent OCD Institute (OCDI Jr.) at McLean Hospital.

Dr. Coyne has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and chapters on anxiety, OCD, and parenting. She is the author of “The Joy of Parenting: An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Guide to Effective Parenting in the Early Years,” a book for parents of young children.

Recent books by Dr. Coyne:

Learn more about Dr. Coyne.

More COVID-19 Resources

It’s important to think about ways to manage your mental health during these difficult times. McLean is committed to providing mental health and self-care resources for all who may need them. You and your family may find these strategies from McLean experts helpful to feel mentally balanced and safe during the coronavirus outbreak.

Learn more on our COVID-19 mental health resources page or get access to our COVID-19 Webinar Series.