Mind Matters scavenger hunt focuses on kids’ mental health

Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 4:48 PM EDT
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(WNDU) - It’s Mental Health Awareness Month, and this week we’re focusing on children in our Healthy Families and Futures segment.

The pandemic has affected all of our lives, but it’s been especially tough on kids.

A new survey of more than 32,000 parents shows the lockdown affected their kids’ mental health.

Nearly a quarter of parents say their child is angry or agitated, and more than a quarter of kids are anxious or stressed.

16 News Now’s Lauren Moss talked with the vice president of child & adolescent services at Oaklawn, who advises parents to be patient with your child and with yourself. The biggest impact can come from disruptions in routines, and we all know there have been plenty of changes this past year.

“Kids really thrive on structure, routine, predictability and the support that they get through a school day,” explains Dr. Kristin Tawadros. “They know they’re going to school today and will be in this class with this teacher and I have lunch at this time, but all of that was taken away with COVID. They’ve lost their routine, so families have to find new routines and figure out how we are doing everything. Parents are not just working from home, they are teaching from home and balancing work and school that does not look like anybody’s typical day pre-COVID.”

It’s important to talk to your kids about how they’re feeling, and as a way to spark that conversation, Oaklawn is holding a scavenger hunt throughout the month of May called “Mind Matters.”

There are 27 locations in St. Joseph and Elkhart counties where people can find a mental health fact and a QR code they can follow to learn more about the topic. You’ll also be entered to win a GoPro camera.

The locations include Howard Park in South Bend, Battell Community Center in Mishawaka and the Electric Brew in Goshen. For more information, visit

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