One year into Covid, pandemic fatigue is ubiquitous. Surveys and studies show anxiety, depression, and stress at high levels across the population. Still, younger generations seem particularly hard hit, even more than older people who are at greater risk for serious complications of Covid. The trends have many experts concerned about the long-term mental health toll of Covid among the nation’s youth.

Staying Connected with Youth Poses New Challenges, Opportunities for Creativity

Anecdotal evidence from across Vermont suggests the Green Mountain State is no exception. The state’s mental-health support systems are stretched. Counselors and case workers are operating at capacity in a Covid-restricted environment of social distancing that poses its own challenges.  Telemedicine has increased, and service providers have innovated creative strategies for connecting with youth.

One such example comes from United Counseling Services, a state-designated agency for mental health supports in Bennington County. A therapeutic case manager at UCS created “Flat Becky” to connect with the children she could no longer see in person. She sent all her program participants a paper doll lookalike of herself wearing her usual scrubs, and asked them to bring Flat Becky along on their adventures and snap pictures to send her.

Vermont counselors have had to get creative to connect with youth during Covid.
One counselor from United Counseling Services made a paper-doll lookalike to stay connected with young people she serves.

“Flat Becky” was a hit!  She went on many adventures and the children stayed connected with their service provider.

Read the full story, Anxiety and Our Youth, and find out what you can do to help if you worry that a young person is struggling with anxiety or depression.


Need to talk?

Call 2-1-1 (option #2) or 866-652-4636 (option #2) for free, confidential, one-on-one counseling. Our Support Counselors are available Monday – Friday. 

In crisis?

If you or someone you care for is experiencing thoughts of suicide or self-harm, you can: call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-825;  text VT to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor 24/7; connect with your local community mental health agency for 24/7 support

Find Help

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Learn about upcoming Wellness Workshops from COVID Support VT, and Town Halls we’re hosting in partnership with community organizations.

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COVID Support VT is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Federal Emergency Management Agency, managed by Vermont’s Departments of Emergency Management and Mental Health, and administered by Vermont Care Partners, a statewide network of 16 non-profit community-based agencies providing mental health, substance use, and intellectual and developmental disability services and supports. 

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