The Pandemic and Kids' Mental Health

“Blake Works’ program is a powerful catalyst for caring adults in kids’ lives to talk with children. It’s critically important for children to discuss emotions and issues that arose during the pandemic – and what they might have lost. Left unprocessed, these feelings can lead to long-term significant issues. We can all benefit from the guidance offered in this program.” 

Herb W. Levine, PhD, Superintendent, Peabody/Salem Schools (ret)

Executive Director, NE Association of School Superintendents (ret) 

The Need

With millions of Americans vaccinated against COVID-19 many are looking forward to re-entry with more opportunities to engage and connect with others. However, mental health experts say the end of the pandemic will be gradual and not a flip of a switch. The uncertainty and disruption to routines over the past year has worsened the mental health of millions of children and adults. How we choose to support our parents, schools and communities will help determine the long-term impact on children and their families.

The Program: The Pandemic and Kids' Mental Health

Blake Works has created The Pandemic and Kids' Mental Health, a series of three professionally produced 20-minute video episodes addressing issues affecting families with children: preschoolers, preteens (elementary/middle schoolers) and teens. Episodes include interviews with children and parents from diverse backgrounds. In conversations with Blake Works' founder Jeanne Blake, mental health experts from Massachusetts General Hospital frame issues facing families and offer proven strategies for building resilience and supporting children during and after the pandemic.

Each episode includes downloadable Tips and Strategies, which adults can use to start vital conversations with children. The program advisor, Dr. Paula K. Rauch, a child psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital says, “Children will be more resilient if we pre-process with them how life in this transition will feel different to them.”  

 

The program is used in a variety of ways nationally. Organizations licensing the program receive a code, which allows them access the program from Blake Works’ website. Some organizations send the code to employees. Schools share it with staff and student’s parents. Others host “watch parties” followed by discussion. Jeanne Blake is available to facilitate group conversations about topics raised in the program and the pandemic re-entry.

Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders says this about Blake Works’ program: “I really worry for kids. Your program is an opportunity to talk about resilience.”

Licensing fees

500 or fewer employees: $3,500/12 months; More than 500 employees: Contact us for information.

Special licensing opportunity for schools     

Blake Works received an anonymous gift allowing us to offer our program for 50% off our standard licensing fees to schools.

What Leaders are Saying About The Pandemic and Kids' Mental Health

These videos are must-viewing for all employees. They offer strategies for responding to kids’ needs. When family stress is reduced, parents can be more present and focused at work. These videos offer employees without children a clearer understanding of the challenges facing parents, creating more supportive colleagues and managers. We can all have a positive impact on the children in our lives.”  

Cheryl R. Blanchard, Ph.D.

President, CEO

Anika Therapeutics

“The authenticity, challenges, and hopefulness captured in Blake Works’ The Pandemic and Kids’ Mental Health inspired our families to honestly share their own pandemic experiences in “watch parties” we held which featured the videos. Families gained tools they can use to support children now and in the future. We’re grateful for this resource, which adds structure, energy, and richness to our ongoing dialogue with families.”

Allison D. Webster

Head of School

Dedham Country Day School

“Watching these stories, I felt less alone in my experience as a mom in the pandemic. And I have a new understanding of what my children are feeling. There’s something in each story I relate to.”  

Laura, Healthcare researcher

Mother of three

“Where did you find these amazing kids who discuss their feelings so well!? I see my own kids in the episodes. The best part is the concrete advice from doctors. Great job organizing the discussion of problem vs. concrete advice in the interviews.” 

Jen, CEO

Mother of four

“It’s a relief to learn by viewing The Pandemic and Kids’ Mental Health that other families are going through similar things we are. I appreciate the excellent strategies for talking with kids. My oldest child is experiencing a lot of anxiety. Now I find that simple conversations help allay her worries.”

Mike, Engineer

Father of two