In October, the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Children’s Hospital Association issued a joint Declaration of National Emergency in Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Families’ experiences during the pandemic have made clear that children and families are struggling. This struggle isn’t new, though. Children and adolescents have been facing a mental health crisis for some time. Now, there are new policies, tools, and programs that can help us support families and kids. This conversation explores who is affected by the crisis and the myriad ways that funders can provide much-needed support.
The pandemic stresses children and the education system, making gulfs out of pre-existing gaps in academic achievement. The education system was imperfect before, with some children thriving while others fall increasingly far behind. Over the last two years, some families and children found systems and processes that facilitated their learning, but for most children and families, education during the pandemic led to fewer gains, decreased self-confidence, and much parental strife. Through this conversation, we will explore the data and what funders can do to not only help children catch up, but to close the gaps between those that succeed in our current system and those that do not.