Pandemic Parenting: Supporting Teen Mental Health


Aired April 8, 2021

Parenting teens through the years 2020 and 2021 has brought challenges we couldn’t have imagined in 2019. Families have experienced the contradiction of isolation and excessive time together; loss of income and higher levels of food- and housing-insecurity; drastically reduced access to school resources; increased rates of mental health distress and crisis; and ongoing fear for what the future holds. For most of us, the stressors have been layering on top of one another without relief.

The news about teens and young adults has been particularly concerning. Sixty-four percent of teens believe that COVID-19 will have lasting impacts on their generation’s mental health. Already, rates of anxiety and depression have been skyrocketing and teens’ visits to the hospital emergency department for psychiatric crises have increased by 44%.

Although this is alarming, there are actions you can take to support the teens in your life. We can start by ensuring that you and other parents, guardians, and caring adults get the education needed to help teens and young adults feel more secure for their future. And while your own stress may be sky-high, there are practical ways adults can support the entire family’s mental health and well-being.

In this webinar, Dr. Archana Basu discusses how the pandemic is affecting teen, parent, and family mental health. Dr. Basu provides practical evidence-based ways to manage parental stress and shares tips for communicating with and supporting teens and young adults.


Archana Basu Headshot

Archana Basu, PhD

Dr. Archana Basu is a Psychologist and Instructor in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, at Massachusetts General Hospital/ Harvard Medical School and a Research Scientist in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. She conducts research using a developmental approach to understand how childhood adversities and protective factors shape children’s health and development and affect both mental and physical health. As a practicing psychologist, Dr. Basu works with children and families to promote coping and resilience in the context of trauma and bereavement.

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Susan Weinstein, JD

Susan Weinstein, JD, Co-Executive Director, has been primarily responsible for programs and finances at Families for Depression Awareness since 2012. Susan was diagnosed with depression in her teens and has drawn from her personal experiences to inform FFDA’s curriculum. She has worked in nonprofits and local government throughout her career, generally in a non-legal capacity. She holds several volunteer positions, including serving on the Executive Committee and as Governance Committee Chair of the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention and holding a variety of elected and appointed seats in her town government since 1992. A native of South Florida, Susan is a graduate of Wellesley College and the Boston University School of Law.