ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Psychologists say they’re seeing a rise in childhood mental health issues amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

LORI LYNN TUCKER

Lori Lynn Tucker is a local mother of three.

All of her children are under the age of seven, her youngest is not even two years old.

She told KNWA/FOX 24 the ongoing pandemic has taken a toll on the mental health of her family.

It’s been really hard. Really really hard.

LORI LYNN TUCKER, MOTHER OF THREE

Tucker said she battled post-partum depression after her youngest child was born.

COURTESY OF LORI LYNN TUCKER

She said things were starting to get better, but then the pandemic hit.

It hit our family hard. I was in a bad place for a long time and needed some pretty intense help.

LORI LYNN TUCKER, MOTHER OF THREE

The mental strain of the virus, also impacted her three young children.

COURTESY OF LORI LYNN TUCKER

“They’ve been very lonely and talk about their friends and miss their friends,” Tucker said. “Temper flares out of nowhere that were not typical before this.”

Tucker’s family is not alone.

According to Licensed Psychologist, Dr. Shelly Farnan, there’s been an influx of referrals across the age spectrum.

We’re seeing a broader range of anxieties in kiddos that we were not seeing before.

DR. SHELLY FARNAN, LICENSED PSYCHOLOGIST 

One of the new anxieties? Fear — that wasn’t there pre-pandemic.

“We have kiddos arriving for psychiatric care now that are afraid to touch anything,” Dr. Farnan said. “Germ phobias.”

My son has talked about being afraid of catching the virus at school when he does go back.

LORI LYNN TUCKER, MOTHER OF THREE

That’s why Dr. Farnan said it’s important for parents to check in with their kids and also themselves.

“They deserve to know there is hope,” Dr. Farnan said.

Which is exactly what Tucker will continue to do.

“What your kids need right now is to know that they are loved, and that they’re cared for, and that one-day things are going to get better and that you’re there for them,” Tucker said.