Children with ‘long Covid’ actually have a mental illness, suggest health chiefs
Children who have supposedly been struck down by long Covid are actually suffering from a mental illness, health chiefs have suggested.
A Government official told the mother of a child suffering from the chronic condition that some children had struggled ‘to adapt to the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic’.
The civil servant wrote: ‘Whilst many children have shown remarkable resilience in difficult circumstances, the Government know that there are those who have found this period especially difficult for their mental health and wellbeing.’
The letter goes on to list all the measures being taken to improve child mental health, including increased funding and greater access to mental health helplines.
It adds that children with ‘serious mental health illnesses’ will be offered face-to-face psychotherapy session. The phrase ‘mental health’ is used 15 times in the 470-word response. Long Covid is not mentioned.
Children who have supposedly been struck down by long Covid are actually suffering from a mental illness, health chiefs have suggested. (Posed by model)
While children are highly unlikely to experience serious Covid symptoms in the short term, growing evidence suggests they are susceptible to protracted ill health after even a mild infection – sufferers can be hit with months of headaches, muscle pain and disabling fatigue.
A Danish study published last week in The Lancet Child And Adolescent Health Journal showed that even infants and toddlers could experience long Covid.
Sammie McFarland, 46, first wrote to the Prime Minister in April, urging more research into finding a cure and greater accommodation for children struggling to keep up in school.
A Government official told the mother of a child suffering from the chronic condition that some children had struggled ‘to adapt to the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic’
Her daughter Kitty, 16, has suffered with long Covid for more than two years.
The ballet dancer still suffers from chronic fatigue and has often missed school.
Sammie, dal Dorset, has since set up a charity, Long Covid Kids, which lobbies for greater support and awareness.
She says when she received a response to her letter – from an unnamed official at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) – she was outraged.
‘To suggest that children with long Covid are not resilient enough is hugely insulting, not just to my child but to all children with this chronic health condition.
‘This letter shows that those at the heart of Government don’t understand the condition at all.’