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008 | Grace for the Children: Post COVID-19 Mental Health Disorders and Interventions

Preconference Workshops


Matthew Stanford, Ph.D.



Approved For CE

Psychologists, Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Pastors, Pastoral Counselors, Lay Counselors, and Coaches

Approved For CME/CEU

Medical Doctors, Osteopathic Doctors, Physicians Assistants, Midwives, Nurses and Nurse Practitioners




Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that one in five children had a mental disorder; however, only about 20% of those children received care from a mental healthcare provider. Home from school and separated from peers during crucial developmental phases, children were clearly among those most negatively impacted by the pandemic lockdowns. In a 2020 survey of 1,000 parents around the country facilitated by the Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, 71% said the pandemic had taken a toll on their children’s mental health, and 69% said the pandemic was the worst thing to happen to their children. In this workshop, the presenter will discuss the fallout from this recent mental health perfect storm (i.e., rising pre-pandemic mental health problems in children, an inadequate and dysfunctional mental healthcare system, and two years of attempts at mitigating the spread of the virus), the present mental health landscape among our children, and the most effective interventions and treatments for childhood mental disorders. The Church’s role in supporting and caring for children and families struggling with mental health problems will be considered throughout.

Learning Objectives

Describe the lingering mental health effects of the pandemic in children in the United States.
Identify the signs and symptoms of common childhood mental disorders.
Assess levels of psychological distress in children utilizing a simple tool.
Outline the role of the church in supporting children and families struggling with mental health problems.