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When the Kids Are Not All Right

If you or an enrolled dependent need to speak with someone about difficult life events or struggles, Anthem’s Behavioral Health Resource Center is available 24/7 to help your family locate resources for your emotional wellbeing at no cost. Call (844) 792-5141.

So much of the focus during the COVID-19 pandemic has been on protecting physical health. But there’s another equally serious impact that’s threatening our wellbeing: the erosion of mental health, particularly among children and adolescents. This issue is so important that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), and the Children’s Hospital Association have declared a national emergency in children’s mental health.

Even before the pandemic, childhood mental health had been declining for at least a decade.1 Then stay-at-home orders — and the physical isolation, uncertainty, fear and grief that came with them — led to significantly higher rates of depression, anxiety and stress.

You may have noticed that your child is a little out of sorts lately. Maybe they’re scared to be away from you. Maybe they’re more worried than usual about school. Or maybe they’re afraid or even panicky that something bad might happen. Fears, worries and sadness are part of growing up. But too many of these emotions can be a sign that your child has anxiety. Feeling anxious is very common.

When these worries take over your child’s thoughts, it may be time to get some help.

Signs of Depression

  • Frustration or feelings of anger, even over small matters
  • Feeling hopeless or empty
  • Irritable or annoyed mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities
  • Loss of interest in, or conflict with, family and friends
  • Low self-esteem
  • Sadness, which can include crying spells for no apparent reason

Signs of Anxiety

  • Fear of being away from a parent or caregiver
  • Fear of certain things, like dogs, bugs or doctors
  • Fear of going to school or other places where there are lots of people
  • Feeling that something bad is going to happen
  • Having trouble concentrating or thinking, especially at school
  • Having a hard time with everyday situations
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Having an upset stomach

How to Help Young People in Your Life

It’s not always easy for children to talk about what’s bothering them. Sometimes they’re afraid of telling someone what’s going on. Or they just may not have the words to express how they’re feeling.

While you may not be able to resolve a young person’s anxiety, you can offer support. Talk to your child’s doctor. Depending on the symptoms and severity, the doctor might recommend speaking to a counselor or therapist. This will give your child a new, safe place to talk about their fears and worries. A mental health professional can also provide you and your child with skills to help control anxiety.

UC supports your and your family’s emotional health and encourages you to access behavioral health resources whenever needed.

Get Support

UCH provider. Search for behavioral health, clinical psychology or psychiatry providers.

Behavioral Health Resource Center. If you or an enrolled dependent has questions about the different types of behavioral health providers and which providers are in-network in your area, you can call (844) 792-5141.

Anthem provider. Log in to view therapists in your area or call Anthem Health Guide at (844) 437-0486.

Faculty & Staff Assistance Programs (employee assistance services) are free and confidential and available at each UC location.

LiveHealth Online Psychology, where the therapist comes to you and your dependents age 10 and older. Discuss sensitive topics with a therapist in the privacy and comfort of your own home (or other private location)—through online video or by phone.

For More Information

Learn more about your UC behavioral health benefits.