Psychologist Josh Shuman on The Biggest Threats to a Child’s Mental Health

Joshua Shuman Psychologist

Josh Shuman is a psychologist who believes we are currently experiencing an unprecedented time in mental health issues amongst younger generations. Statistics were troubling before the COVID-19 pandemic, and they have only gotten worse in terms of suicide and depression rates in children. As a psychologist, Josh Shuman wants as many people to get the professional help they need as possible, regardless of their age. Today’s blog will touch on a few of the common causes of mental health issues in children so that adults can keep an eye out and make sure that their children are getting the support they need.

When looking at the effects of the pandemic, there are several reasons experts saw a bump in mental health issues amongst children. For starters, feelings of isolation are extremely dangerous for people of all ages but especially children. When kids aren’t able to socialize with peers, they often have their mental growth stunted. In the age of digitalization, this isolation can often lead to reliance on positive reinforcement from social media and other online measures. Social media can be a truly dangerous place and when kids are comparing how many likes their post received vs how many likes a popular kid received, it can get overwhelming fast.

While COVID-19 may not have caused as many physical health issues for younger generations as it did their elders, children still had to deal with the loss of grandparents and parents during the pandemic. This is always a difficult time in a child’s life and kids of all ages were exposed to death from a terrible disease.

COVID-19 may have increased the number of children dealing with anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts, but these symptoms were concerning long before March of 2020. There are common mental health issues that children deal with simply because of the normal ups and downs of being a kid in a world driven by adults. More recent generations also have to deal with social media pressure, a growing threat of mass violence in schools, natural disasters, climate change, and an awareness of a political landscape that is very combative.

Josh Shuman is a psychologist who believes that the stronger a support system is around a child, the higher the likelihood a kid can learn to deal with the stresses of their life. For some, despite their parents’ best efforts, this means seeking out the guidance of a professional psychologist. Still, parents and friends should be aware of a child’s mood and mental health status. Stress often comes from feeling out of place. Whether it is a kid who is a member of the LGBTQ+ community or who has a different skin tone than most of their classmates, there’s an innate fear of being different. While diversity is something to celebrate, this can be difficult during a child’s developmental years.

Josh Shuman is a strong proponent of keeping the lines of communication open with a child and staying vigilant of any signs of online bullying. Many modern stresses for kids come from online hazing. It’s important that children- who quite literally have brains that are still developing- have time away from their tablets, cell phones, and gaming devices. Connecting a child with nature is a great way to lower their stress levels and teach them about the bigger picture. Even a child who is not interested in an organized sport should still find ways to get outside and exercise. The format of the physical exercise does not matter nearly as much as the consistency of the act.

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