Mothers’ Mental Health Challenges Predated the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially challenging for American families with children. The U.S. Surgeon General as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Children’s Hospital Association declared a children’s mental health crisis in late 2021, citing school closures, social isolation, grief over lost community and family members, and challenges accessing needed care as contributing factors. Parents, and especially mothers, have also borne significant caregiving, health, and health care access burdens that likely contributed to observed increases in mental health challenges since the pandemic began. However, women and mothers were already facing significant mental health challenges before the pandemic, and those challenges are likely to persist and evolve as the most acute pandemic stressors subside and new threats to women’s health and well-being arise. This report notes how maternal mental health has important implications for children, and how understanding mental health challenges among mothers will be critical to addressing the mental health crisis among children.

Record Type: 
Publication Date: 
January, 2023
January 2023
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