Sixty percent of parents have identified anxiety as a long-term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on their children's mental health.

A survey of almost 2,000 parents carried out by Walk in my Shoes - a joint initiative by St Patrick's Mental Health Services and the National Parents Council - shows almost a fifth of children received some form of mental health support during the pandemic.

The top three areas where parents felt they needed assistance to support their children related to anxiety (60%), coping strategies (44%) and isolation and loneliness (41%).

It is noted that this is similar to 2020 results.

However, the overuse of social media during the pandemic and stress were also identified as areas of concern, with 26% and 27% of parents citing these respectively

More than half of parents (55%) have concerns about the long-term impact of the pandemic on their child's mental health and 25% of parents expressed concern about their child’s readjustment as society opens up over the next few months.

Almost 20% of children received some form of mental health support over the course of the pandemic.

Six percent received private counselling, 3.5% received HSE community supports, school counsellors accounted for 2.7% of support and local clubs 2%.

The survey findings also highlighted parents' worries about their children developing trust issues as a result of the Covid-19 restrictions; both due to changing plans and last-minute cancellations, and lack of trust in themselves and others in adhering to public health guidelines.

Lack of physical connection, aggression, lashing out and establishing and maintaining good relationships with friends and peers were among other worries parents held for their children.

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