COVID-19 and Family Mental Health - MGH Clay Center

Coronavirus and Family Mental Health

More than two years later, feelings of anxiety and uncertainty about coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and disruptions to life as we know it continue to affect us all. Below are resources to support you in supporting your family’s mental health and well-being.

MGH and Clay Center Resources


Child Psychiatrist on How to Address Suicide Among Black Youth

Black children aren’t getting the mental health care they need, says Dr. Booth Watkins, a trend that began long before the COVID-19 pandemic. In this video, NowThis News shares a closer look at the problem, and what needs to change. (warning: distressing) (11 Feb 2023)

How To Talk — And Listen — To A Teen With Mental Health Struggles (NPR)

If your teen is struggling with their mental health, how do you respond? Our associate director Khadijah Booth Watkins shares guidance with NPR on how to spot red flags, and how to model resilience. Plus, tips on seeking help. (25 Mar 2021)

General Resources

Guide to Mental Health Resources for COVID-19

From our Psychiatry Department, topics include: General Mental Health & Coping; Specific Mental Health Conditions; Families & Children; Mindfulness & Other Tools.

Fostering and Preventing Depression, Stress, and Suicide in Youth

In this webinar from May 2022, Dr. Gene Beresin shares how to recognize signs of depression, stress, and suicidal behavior in young people, as well as guidelines on how to prevent these conditions or intervene early.

How to Help Kids Cope With Situational Anxiety

Are the kids in your life showing signs of emotional distress due to the pandemic? Learn how to help them manage.

This article is also available in the following languages:

7 Ways to Support Kids and Teens Through the Coronavirus Pandemic

Strategies to support kids of all ages, including how to frame conversations based on age.

This article is also available in the following languages:

Coping With Grief and Loss

How to Help Young People Cope With Grief and Loss During COVID-19

Tips to help children and teens manage various kinds of grief, and transform those feelings into positivity.

This article is also available in the following languages:

Death of a Parent: How Do I Help My Child Cope?

The number of children who have lost a caregiver to COVID-19 is staggering and heartbreaking. Understanding what a child or adolescent may be going through after such a loss is an important step in helping them to cope. Child psychiatrist Steven Schlozman, MD helps to explain.

Clay Center Podcasts

Listen to our podcast episodes on supporting family mental health during the pandemic. Search for “Shrinking It Down” wherever you get your podcasts, or tune in below:

The Nuts and Bolts of Telepsychiatry, featuring Janet Wozniak, MD


 Managing Family Conflict During Covid, featuring J. Stuart Ablon, PhD


COVID-19 and College Students, featuring Khadijah Booth Watkins, MD


Take a Mental Health Break!

Important for any time, but especially now: Try to take at least one mental health break every day. Even 6 minutes can make a difference.

  • MGH Be Fit Meditations (Wellness at MGH) – Engage your senses, belly breathe, or relax, ground and clear. A series of 17 free mediations great for teens, young adults, and adults.  
  • Illuminated Collage Home Activity (MGH Clay Center) – This interactive art activity helps you  open family conversations about mental health, while creating a beautiful window collage to brighten your room. 
  • Cosmic Kids Yoga YouTube Channel – Yoga, mindfulness and relaxation designed especially for kids aged 3+, used in schools and homes all over the world. 
  • Yoga With Adriene YouTube Channel – All levels, all bodies, all genders, all souls! Perfect for adults, young adults, and teens. 


Share Your Story

How is your family finding the silver lining of the challenges you face? Please share your story – we’d love to share it with others to help keep the hope going!

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