Editorial Perspective: COVID-19 pandemic-related psychopathology in children and adolescents with mental illness

J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2020 Jul 7;10.1111/jcpp.13292. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.13292. Online ahead of print.


The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is likely to have negative health consequences way beyond those caused by the virus per se - including significant psychological distress. Children and adolescents who already live with a mental illness may be particularly vulnerable to the distress associated with the pandemic - due to, for example, fear of the virus as well as the significant societal changes launched to minimize spread of the virus (social distancing and quarantine). In this editorial perspective, we (a) provide data on COVID-19 pandemic-related psychopathology in children and adolescents from a large psychiatric treatment setting in Denmark, (b) give advice on how the likely harmful effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of children and adolescents may be minimized, and (c) propose six lines of research into pandemic-related psychopathology with emphasis on children and adolescents. Finally, we underline the necessity of politicians, health authorities, and funding bodies supporting these research initiatives here and now.

Keywords: ADHD; Anxiety; COVID‐19; autism spectrum disorders; depression; school attendance.