It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year but, for many, the holidays can be a difficult season when feelings of depression, anxiety, stress, loss and grief are at an all-time high—and that’s in a normal year. But 2020 has been anything but normal.

The past nine months have been marked by upheaval, uncertainty, isolation and change with the youngest among us feeling the weight of it all, and doctors at Cook Children’s Medical Center are sounding the alarm.

“I’ve been employed as a psychologist at Cook Children’s going on 26 plus years and never in my time have I seen such an intense number of patients with severe anxiety and depression,” said Lisa Elliott, PhD, manager of the behavioral health clinic at Cook Children’s. “It’s not uncommon for us to have high acuity patients periodically, but that’s become the norm for weeks and weeks where 70 to 80 percent of our total number of visits for anxiety and depression are severe.”

To read the full story, visit the Cook Children’s Checkup Newsroom.

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