A brief produced by the Evidence-Based Policy Institute, Judge Baker Children’s Center
On March 10th, 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic was declared a state emergency in Massachusetts. Within the next two weeks, schools and child care programs were closed, and a stay-at-home advisory was issued. In the months that followed, the need for social distancing meant youth ages 5-18 were kept at home and away from their peers, unable to attend school for in-person K-12 education. The full impact of quarantine, social isolation, and the pandemic on youth mental health remains to be seen. However, preliminary research and anecdotal observations suggest that there is a coming tidal wave of behavioral health needs among youth, especially youth from vulnerable and historically marginalized communities.