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Recognize Post-pandemic Trauma in Teens

For many teens, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a traumatic experience that created fear, anxiety, questions and caution.

Youth and adolescents are among those most affected by the pandemic and it’s important to know that they may still be adjusting to the ever‑changing world around them, especially as they enter another new school year.

“COVID‑19 interrupted routines, education, relationships and a sense of safety for everyone, but especially teens,” said Geoff Schaubhut, PhD, behavioral health specialist at Park Street Clinic in Lebanon. “Teens are at a crucial developmental stage in life and the threats of the pandemic left many feeling anxious and depressed.”

Mental Health America shares these signs and symptoms of mental health disorders.

  • Problems with concentration, memory or ability to think clearly.
  • Changes in appetite.
  • Feeling sad, empty, hopeless or worthless.
  • Loss of interest in things that they used to enjoy. 
  • Excessive worry.
  • Irritability or restlessness.
  • Changes in sleep.
  • Angry outbursts.
  • Not wanting to be around people or take part in activities.

“Be on the lookout for any of these traits in your teen,” said Dr. Schaubhut. “If you notice any of them develop — even just one — have a conversation with your child about how they are feeling and what kind of support they need.”

Screening tools are available at for parents and youth to learn the signs and find out if a young person may have symptoms of a behavioral, emotional or cognitive disorder. If screening results indicate cause for concern, seek professional help.

Looking for a health care provider? Call Samaritan’s Find a Doctor line for assistance at 800-863-5241.