Goldie Hawn Says America ‘Failed’ Children During COVID-19 Pandemic
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Goldie Hawn highlighted the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on American children in an op-ed published Wednesday.
Hawn compared the “existential fear” felt by children amid the coronavirus pandemic to the “fear” felt by children after the Cold War, the Challenger crash and 9/11 in an op-ed for USA Today.
“Today we are in the midst of a national trauma that may very well surpass 9/11 and approach the heightened terror of the Cold War years,” Hawn wrote. “The COVID era has changed the lives of our children in far more real and tangible ways – social distancing, school closures, daily use of masks.”
The “Overboard” actress went on to say that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the US Surgeon General and the American Academy of Pediatrics all agree that “the state of our children’s mental health is now at level of a national level emergency.”
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“It tells us that as a nation we have failed our children,” she continued. “The few federal and state dollars that are directed to youth ‘mental health’ invariably end up going to substance abuse and ‘crisis care,’ treating only the most serious disorders. There are modest funds a time a child ends up in the hospital. But what about before?
“We don’t properly fund preventative care and early interventions that normalize each individual’s mental struggles on some level,” Hawn added. “There are everyday tools for mental fitness, just like there are for exercise and healthy eating; we just don’t systematically teach them to kids in our country.”
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Hawn wrote of her own “two-decade personal journey” working with educators and scientists to develop a curriculum for children that would help them “understand the complex chemical reactions that drive emotions” and “regulate” them if necessary.
Hawn has been an advocate for children’s mental health since founding the non-profit organization MindUp in 2003. The organization was created to “help children develop the knowledge and tools they need to manage the stress, regulate emotions and meet the challenges of the 21st century with optimism, resilience and compassion.” MindUp deals directly with aggression, anxiety, depression and suicide in children.
Hawn noted in the op-ed the rising rates of suspected suicide attempts in the United States.
“Children are afraid of people, spaces, even the air around them – a consistent level of fear not seen in decades. were 51% higher for teenage girls and 4% higher for teenage boys, compared to the same period in early 2019,” she wrote.
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Hawn ended her writing by stating that we will “survive” the COVID-19 pandemic, but noted that she is “not sure we can survive an entire generation whose collective trauma has them hobbling to death. adulthood”.
“We need more research, more preventative care, and more early intervention. And there’s still time,” she wrote. “If we get it right, today’s children could become the strongest generation America has ever produced.”
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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