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Central, South Coast Health Officials Say People Need To Be Alert For Mental Health Issues


It’s been a stressful time on the Central and South Coasts, as we face concerns like trying to stay healthy, and worry about money. 

But parents of children face an extra issue:  The mental health of their kids.

Suzanne Grimmesey is a therapist who’s also the Chief Quality Care and Strategy Officer for Santa Barbara County’s Department of Behavioral Health.  Grimmesey talks about things we should be watch for with our kids.  She says we should make sure they are talking to others, and are also staying in touch with friends via phone, and social media.

The mental health expert says we need to make a point of talking to our kids about coronavirus.  Part of it is to make sure they realize what’s involved in staying safe.

And, while younger people may be at lower risk for becoming seriously ill from the virus, they need to understand that they can spread it.  They could be the ones who make their grandparents sick.

Grimmesey says most kids will bounce back as things normalize.  But, she says being stuck at home has exposed some youngsters to unhealthy, and even dangerous environments.

The Santa Barbara County health official says mental health assistance is out there, and available, with links to the Community Wellness Team here.

Grimmesey note that some good things have come out of the situation.  It’s led to many families connecting, or reconnecting in new ways.