(WGGB/WSHM) -- The pandemic has changed just about everything, including the way children are learning, and this has had a troubling impact on many.
“My family experienced something, I never thought we’d experience before,” said one Springfield mom who wished to remain anonymous.
We’ve changed the voice of this Springfield mom. She’s speaking out after her son attempted the unthinkable.
“After his math class, he was so overwhelmed…my son attempted suicide,” the mom explained.
Her 17-year-old son has a dream of joining the military one day, but he’s been struggling in school since the pandemic began and worrying about his future.
“My son said, ‘There’s no purpose for my life,’” the mother noted.
The mom told Western Mass News a crisis team got involved and he has since been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.
“I don’t know, it’s a lot. I don’t want to lose him not because something that’s not his fault…and I can imagine if my son is going through it, a lot of other parents are too,” the mom said.
Dr. Rahiza Gallardo with the Gandara Center explained, “The pandemic has changed our brains and the constant worry about what is happening in the future can alter our brains, our chemistry, and that will be more common in the children…that can actually cause mood disorder, depression or even the suicidal thoughts.”
Western Mass News reached out to the Gandara Center, an organization that aims to provide mental health, substance abuse, and preventative services for children, adults, and families.
“Most of the things or complaints that we are hearing from the parents is that they don’t know how to make their children continue to be motivated or actually be connected to the computers,” Gallardo said.
With five kids, the Springfield mom we spoke to said remote learning has been a major struggle, especially as some of her kids have individualized education plans - or IEPs - and one of her children has been missing classes to help the younger siblings.
“They can’t grasp the concept correctly and the teachers tries to explain to them how to do it, but they say 'Mom, it’s one thing of them telling you what to do and it’s another thing when the teacher is right there showing you,'” the mom added.
However, she does have an outlet - leaning on a group of parents to share ideas for remote learning.
“Us parents will sit down, we’ll have some coffee and talk about everything that’s going on…how are children are having difficulties and what us as parents can do to help each other,” the mom said.
While this Springfield mom just wants to get her kids back into the classroom, experts said making sure communication is strong is important while kids are still at home.
“Continuing communications between parents and teachers is going to be really important and a key for them to learn better. Parents actually need to be more in contact with the teacher,” Gallardo noted.
If your child is struggling and needs help, contact the Gandara Center:
- For Therapy Services via Telehealth Consultations: (413) 736-0395
- Crisis Line: (413) 733-6661