For those 40,000 children who lost parents due to COVID-19, who will step in and help them? Losing a loved one at any age is difficult, but children may have a harder time understanding and coping.
When a young person loses a parent, they don’t just lose someone they love, they lose financial support. They become at greater risk of dropping out of school (at any level); for anxiety, depression, alcohol and other substance misuse issues; and for feeling like they have lost control over their lives (Vox 2021).
By estimates from more than 3 million confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in the world, these children show patterns of racial disparity in the US.
The impact of these deaths is so powerful that bereavement is thought to be a source of racial disparities in health and education in America. By age 20, a Black child is twice as likely to experience the death of a mother and 50 percent more likely to experience the death of a father. The pandemic is likely to make this trend worse (Vox 2021).
Sadly, there's no one in charge of collecting the names and data of these children so that they can receive the help they need to recover and to handle this burden in a healthy way.
We at Drawn from Valor are working hard to help kids who have gone through traumatic life experiences, grief & loss, depression, and anxiety. This is why we make the content that we do - to help kids and grown-ups with their mental health as best we can. We're working to help those who need it and who could use your help in return. Here are some suggested resources offered by Vox:
Support to a grieving child could include individual counseling, workbooks, and camps or group programs. The National Alliance for Grieving Children has resources and a regional directory for helping children deal with loss. There are also some online therapy sessions geared toward kids who need help combating depression and anxiety in general.
Please feel free to check out the rest of our site, particularly our Empowernauts section, for the resources and activities we offer to help kids and grown-ups alike. And look to MarketCast and On Our Sleeves for more information.