Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19

Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19

by | Aug 21, 2020 | Behavioral Health | 0 comments


Guess what?!? I signed a lease, and we officially have a home for Keānuenue Pediatrics!! A place for you to come visit us when you need a well check or aren’t feeling well. A place for us to get you caught up on your vaccinations and on the last few months that we’ve missed you and your family. We. Can’t. Wait!!

It will take roughly 6 to 8 weeks to renovate and for us to get our equipment (exam tables, vaccine refrigerator and freezer, etc.) so we are targeting an opening month of OCTOBER, but now that the lease is signed, we feel closer than ever! You can already pre-register to become a patient, and we will let you know as soon as our schedule opens up to take appointments.

Pre-Register for our New Office

Our office address

We are located at 615 Pi’ikoi Street, Suite 1501, Honolulu, HI 96814. It is a locally-owned commercial building that houses a variety of businesses, including dentists, acupuncturists, accountants, and now us!

On the corner of Kapiolani Blvd and Pi’ikoi Street (one-way street going mauka), our building is very central. It’s near Walmart and Sam’s Club on Ke’eaumoku, Ala Moana Shopping Center, and a hop away from Ward Avenue and Kaka’ako.


DON’T FORGET TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF TOO. I often tell the parents of my patients, Your health is their health. Children matter. Parents matter too.

Taking care of a child takes a village. And while we as Pediatricians often focus on the child, we also focus on the well-being of the parents, the community, and the environment the child lives in. After all, health is multi-factorial. And one of the factors that’s SO important to a child’s well-being is his or her mental health AND his or her parents’ mental health.


Well, things got better and then got worse. It’s been about 6 months since the initial impact of COVID, and it seems like we’re back to square one. Rising cases, increased deaths, increased hospitalizations, and stricter lockdowns? I know, it sucks. We are on week #2 with beach and park closures. And as of this week, stricter guidelines are being enforced on O’ahu. The things that brought us joy like going to the beach, hiking, playing at the park, getting to see friends and family are once again difficult to obtain. The impact on everyone’s psychosocial well-being is HUGE.


According to a recent study, 1 in 4 parents reported worsening mental health and 1 in 7 reported worsened behavioral health in their children.[1] This may come to no surprise considering people have lost their jobs, health insurance, access to childcare, and everyday socialization. In another study examining city/hourly working adults and children ages 2-7 years old, 60% of families experienced job loss69% experienced income loss45% experienced increased caregiving burden, and 12% had a sick family member. Parents had increased negative moodworsened sleep quality and an increase in uncooperative childhood behavior. [2]

This pandemic is impacting everyone in some way, shape or form.  And while we may not be able to prevent the emotional stressors that come with it, we sure can minimize the effect that these stressors may have on our overall well-being.

[1] Patrick, Stephen W., Laura E. Henkhaus, Joseph S. Zickafoose, Kim Lovell, Alese Halvorson, Sarah Loch, Mia Letterie, and Matthew M. Davis. “Well-Being of Parents and Children During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A National Survey.” Pediatrics, July 1, 2020, e2020016824.
[2] Gassman-Pines, Anna, Elizabeth Oltmans Ananat, and John Fitz-Henley. “COVID-19 Crisis Impacts on Parent and Child Psychological Well-Being.” Pediatrics, August 1, 2020, e2020007294.



  • Set boundaries for your work hours at home. There’s no longer a division between time spent at work and time spent at home. Make that division known.
  • Create a schedule that works for you and your family. Share it with those you care about so everyone can be respectful of each other’s time.

  • Keep a bedtime schedule.
  • Continue to eat 3 meals/day
  • Set time aside for playtime!

  • Meditation, journaling, listening to music/podcast. Whatever works for you!

  • Let your kids participate with you! They can write down a word or phrase for their overall goal of the day.

  • There’s never time in the day; however, even a walk outside (with a mask) in your neighborhood is a HUGE stress reliever. Make it a family exercise.

  • At least one hour/day of physical activity. Make it fun! They don’t have to run a marathon. Dance, play in the yard, whatever works!

  • AGAIN, DON’T FORGET TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. Remember that you have self-value. It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling like a failure while you’re juggling so many tasks. If you feel alone, you’re not. There are others that feel the same way you do.

  • Let your kids know they matter. Even if you told them earlier today, tell them again. Your teen that rolls their eyes or shrugs it off still appreciates the thought.
  • Listen to their feelings and validate them without judgment.
  • If they made you happy or brightened your mood, tell them! Younger kids love to please. You’ll feel good, they’ll feel good. It’s a win-win situation. 🙂

There’s a lot going on in the world. When in doubt, reach out to your Pediatrician.

If you haven’t already …

  • Register for our new office
  • Read our archived email newsletters
  • Send us a text message to plug into Klara (secure text messaging) and say aloha (text 808.431.3161 from your phone)
  • Follow us on Facebook and Instagram
  • Share our information with a friend looking for Pediatricians who are dedicated, modern, and full of aloha